Oktoberfest in California
Enjoy a day at one of the celebrations of Oktoberfest 2014 in California. The state has the largest population claiming German heritage with over 5 million people. That’s more than 2 million more than Pennsylvania or Ohio, which rank numbers two and three on the list. So it should come as no surprise that there are a large number of places where you can celebrate Oktoberfest in California. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego, you are not far from a fabulous California Oktoberfest. Here’s the list:
Monterey Bay Oktoberfest – Carmel, CA – September 13-14, 2014
Noon – 6 PM. Tickets are $20 on Saturday or $15 on Sunday and $30 for the combined weekend ticket. Children under 12 are free. Day of admission tickets $5-10 more.
Location: Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Rd Monterey, CA 93940
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest – Big Bear, CA – Weekends from September 13th through October 26th, 2014. There will be three expanded bier gartens, live music, vendor booths and kids games. American Heroes Weekend is Sept 13-14, local’s night is October 3rd and the costume contest for adults and kids is October 25th. Other contests include the beer stein-carrying contest, stein holding, beer drinking contest and log sawing competition. Expanded bier gartens with the Warsteiner Garten, New Spaten Bier Garten and Shock Top Sports Garten. Weekends 2, 3 and 4 are expected to have a band from Germany. Tickets are available on their website. Food and beer are purchased with Burgermeister Bucks. Complimentary Shuttle will give you a ride home anywhere in the Big Bear Valley.
Location: Convention Center at Big Bear Lake, 42900 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake CA, 92315
Tyrolean Inn Oktoberfest – Ben Lomond, CA – September 19-21, 2014
German food, beer and live music by Alpenband.
Location: 9600 Highway 9, Ben Lomond CA
Oktoberfest by the Bay! – San Francisco, CA – September 19-21, 2014
Named one of the ten best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in the USA in 2010 by AOL. This San Francisco Oktoberfest has live music headlined by the 21 piece Chico Bavarian Band. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 for VIP per session. VIP includes German buffet, commemorative mug, first beer, private bathrooms and guaranteed seating in private area.
Location: Pier 48, San Francisco, CA.
Jackson Oktoberfest – Sutter Creek, CA – September 20, 2014
Authentic German food, beer, Bavarian dancers and Oktoberfest music. Contests include keg rolling, yodeling, mug holding, bratwurst throwing and a Bavarian costume contest. They also have Weiner Dog Races thanks to the Amador County Daschunds. Hosted at the Italian Picnic Grounds. Presale tickets available prior to September 15th for $25 (adults) and $12 (Youth 6-20). Soda and entertainment for kids, adults get collector beer mug or wine glass with one drink. VIP package available with dinner and reserved seating. Food options includes bratwurst, pork chop, sauerkraut, apple strudel and soft pretzels.
Location: 581 California 49, Sutter Creek, CA
Encinitas Oktoberfest – Encinitas, CA – September 21, 2014
19th annual German festival hosted by Encinitas Chamber of Commerce from 10 AM to 5 PM on Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real. Street craft fair with 200 vendors, German-American band The Bluebirds and Gemutlichkeit Apine Dancers. Ceremonial parade kicks it off at noon. Craft Corner is 21+ only and will highlight craft breweries. There will also be a family fun zone for kids. Free parking is available at Flora Vista Elementary School with free shuttle service.
Vacaville Oktoberfest – Vacaville, CA – September 27, 2014
8th annual Oktoberfest with German food and live music from 11 AM to 7 PM. Runs from 11 AM to 7 PM. Food options include brats, sauerkraut, pretzels, potato salad and more. Free admission.
Location: Town Square Plaza, Vacaville, CA 95688
Oktoberfest Brews & Brats – Tehachapi, CA – September 27 and October 4, 2014
11th annual Oktoberfest hosted by Kohnen’s Country Bakery. German food, music, polka dancing, European beer and wine.
Location: 125 W Tehachapi Blvd Tehachapi, CA 93561
La Mesa Oktoberfest – La Mesa, CA – October 3-5, 2014
Started over three years ago, it now attracts 200,000 to the 3 day festival. German food, beer, entertainment and children’s activities. Hosted by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the La Mesa Village Merchants Association.
Location: 7830 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest – Chico, CA – October 3-4, 2014
Fifth annual Oktoberfest with live music, cold beer and hot glass blowing demonstrations. Musical lineup of three bands. Oktoberfest feast for dinner included with ticket price. Over two nights they generally have attendance around 6,000. Don’t forget to practice up on your chicken dance before attending.
Location: 1075 East 20th Street, Chico, California
Oktoberfest Lakeport – Lakeport, CA – October 4, 2014
Fifth annual German festival from the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. Craft beer, German and American music, authentic German food and vendors. Dachsund derby, costume contests for adults, kids and dogs, beer pong and a beer stein contest. live music from two bands. it is held the same day as the Knocti Challenge, a 20, 40, 65 or 100 mile bicycle ride starting and ending at the Lakeport Yacht Club.
Location: 875 Lakeport Blvd., Lakeport, CA 95453
Montrose Oktoberfest – Montrose, CA – October 4, 2014
30,000 are expected at the 35th annual Oktoberfest by the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce. It is the largest outdoor event of the City of Glendale and the Foothills. Contests include stein holding, sausage eating, Master & Little Miss OKtoberfest, best dressed dog and a coloring contest. Games, rides and bingo as well. German bands and dancing, too.
Location: 2300 and 2400 Blocks of Honolulu Avenue, Montrose CA
Oktoberfest VI by Educate! – San Diego, CA – October 4, 2014
6th annual Oktoberfest from 2 to 6 PM to raise money for five U.C. public schools. Bratwurst, beer garden, live music from three bands, home brew contest and kids games.
Location: Standley Park and Rec Center
Clayton Oktoberfest – Clayton, CA – October 4-5, 2014
Two days of fun with parade, keg tapping, live music, biergarten, German food, California wines, arts and crafts show and carnival. The band will be The Internationals.
Location: Main St, Clayton, CA 94517
Twain Harte Oktoberfest – Twain Harte, CA – October 4-5, 2014
Beer, music concert, car show and vendors on Saturday. More beer, another concert and vendors on Sunday! Cost for beer garden is $20 for ages 21+ and includes mug for the noon to 3 PM tasting event. Bounce house for kids. Other than the beer garden, event is free and open to all.
Sacramento Turn Verein Oktoberfest – Sacramento, CA – October 10-11, 2014
Eat, drink and dance like a German. Outdoor biergarten. Kid friendly activities.
Location: 3349 J Street, Sacramento CA 95816
Sactoberfest – October 10-12, 2014
Second annual event on the West Sacramento Riverfront. They have extended it to three days this year and will bring in a giant, Munich-style beer hall tent. Craft beer, local food, carnival rides, stein-holding and other German festivities.
St. Elizabeth’s Annual Oktoberfest – Julian, CA – October 10-11, 2014
Bratwurst, beer, dancers and German music. Takes place surrounded by postcard splendor in the historic mountain village of Julian. Only one hour from San Diego.
Location: Rabobank Parking Lot
Cotati Oktoberfest – Cotati, CA – October 11, 2014
8th annual event. Authentic German meal of bratwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut for $15 with Oktoberfest microbrews from Lagunitas Brewing Company available. Lots of contests including wiener dog races, tankard hold and beer stein race. Admission is free. Polka the night away on the dance floor.
Location: La Plaza Park, Cotati, CA
Nipomo’s Best Oktoberfest – Nipomo, CA – October 11-12, 2014
31st annual Oktoberfest with Miss Nipomo Pageant, Battle of the Bands, live entertainment, bbq tasting and competition, beer and wine garden and kidss activities. Event is outdoors and open to the general public.
Location: Nipomo Community Park, Tefft and Pomeroy St., Nipomo, CA 93444
St Leo the Great Church Oktoberfest – San Jose, CA – October 4, 2014 (4-9 PM)
Live entertainment, multiple food options including authentic German Faire, German Beer Garden and Blacktop Inflatable playground, raffle, silent auction and more.
Location: 88 Race St, San Jose, CA 95126
Vegan Oktoberfest – Santa Monica, CA – October 4, 2014
LA’s newest, most festive and authentic Oktoberfest celebration. Our beer hall by the beach will feature traditional Bavarian food, live Oompah bands, beer maidens, and of course, refreshing and delicious beer poured to perfection by dozens of great breweries. Come enjoy a taste of Germany while you make new friends and indulge to your heart’s desire. Since all the food and beer is vegan, you can experience a traditional Oktoberfest celebration with a clear conscience. Did we mention there’s a view of the Pacific Ocean while you drink? Prost!
Old World Village Oktoberfest – Huntington Beach, California – September 8 – October 27, 2013
Enjoy Oktoberfest at Old World Village in September and October. Old World is a European themed shopping center that goes all out during Oktoberfest. They have parades, beautiful girls, dachshund races, a Herbmeister, and Kidsfest. It is self described as the best Oktoberfest in Orange County. 4 German Beer Samplers for $5 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Parade on September 29th. Kinderfest for kids every Sunday. There are dachshund races as well.
Location: 7561 Center Ave. #49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Alpine Village Oktoberfest – Los Angeles, CA – September 6 – October 27, 2013
Southern California has been celebrating Oktoberfest at Alpine Village for 45 years. USA Today named it one of the best Oktoberfests in the world. It is held on seven weekends in September and October in a 32,000 square foot tent. Located in Torrance, it is the most popular Los Angeles Oktoberfest. Tables are on a first come first served basis – there are no reservations. In 2013, it will be open Fridays and Saturdays from September 6th to October 27th and Sundays from September 23rd to October 27th. It’s 21+ on Friday and Saturday but all ages are welcome on Sunday. Tickets are between $5 and $20 depending on day. Kids 12 and under as well as those dressed in dirndls or lederhosen get in free on Sundays.
Location: 833 West Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90502
Oktoberfest in Campbell – Campbell, California – October 19-20, 2013
German foods, a variety of beers and ales, over 100 artisans and live entertainment.
Location: On Campbell street from Third Street to Railway Avenue in downtown Campbell, California.
Oktoberfest in El Cajon – El Cajon, CA – September 27-29 & October 4-6, 2013
Hosted by The German American Societies of San Diego, the Oktoberfest runs the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October. Authentic German food, beers, folk dancing, kids zone, craft booths and live music by the Guggenbach-Baum band from Germany.
Location: 1017 S Mollison Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – San Diego, CA – October 11-12, 2013
This San Diego Oktoberfest held at Ocean Beach Pier offers two days of fun in early October. There’s a brat trot, sausage toss, stein holding contest and bratwurst eating competition.
Location: 5091 Niagara Ave, San Diego, CA
LA Oktoberfest – Los Angeles, California – October 25-27, 2013
German food, beer and live music at this Los Angeles Oktoberfest. Tickets are $35 for regular admission and $100 for VIP admission.
Location: 6021 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Schroeder’s Oktoberfest – San Francisco, CA – Friday Nights, September 27 – October 25, 2013
Food and polka dancing at this San Francisco German restaurant.
Location: 240 Front Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
Mammoth Village Oktoberfest – Mammoth Village, CA – October 5-6, 2013
Oktoberfest at Fairplex – Pomona, CA – October 10-13, 17-20 & 24-27, 2013
The home of the L.A. County Fair brings you their Los Angeles Oktoberfest starting October 10th with beer, German food, Bavarian music, Games and the chicken dance. Admission for adults is $5. It’s 21+ only on Thursday-Saturday. Kids are allowed on Sunday.
Location: 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768
Lake Arrowhead Oktoberfest – Lake Arrowhead, CA – Saturday and Sunday, September 28 – October 27, 2013
Celebrate Oktoberfest on weekends in their genuine Alpine village with authentic food and free entertainment.
Location: Lake Arrowhead Village, 28200 Hwy 189, Lake Arrowhead, CA.
Oaktoberfest - Oakland, California – NOT HAPPENING IN 2013!!
The leaders recommend you attend the 805 Beach Festival on September 21st at Avila Beach Golf Resort this year to celebrate the last day of summer.
Location: Street festivals at the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland, California.
Beaumont Oktoberfest – Beaumont, CA – September 27-29, 2013
24th annual Oktoberfest with live entertainment, authentic food, contests, arts & crafts vendors, weiner dog races, horse show and kids zone.
Location: Noble Creek Community Park, 650 W. Oak Valley Parkway, Beaumont
Central Valley Craft Brewers Oktoberfest – Fresno, CA – October 6, 2013
Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest – Carlsbad, CA – October 6, 2013
Family event with German dinner, beer, dancing, live music, pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating contest for kids. Dinner tickets are $10 (advance) or $12 (gate). Net proceeds are donated to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation and the Carlsbad Police and Fire Explorer Post.
Location: Holiday Park, Carlsbad, California
Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club – Friday-Sunday for 7 Weekends starting September 13, 2013
The Phoenix Club will host seven weekends of Oktoberfest fun starting Friday, September 13th and concluding Sunday, October 27th. They will have the Musikmeister DJ and live German Oom Pah music from Fred Mlakar and the Oberkrainer Band, The Express band, and Die Guggenbach-Buam. Imported German beer on tap, beer drinking and sausage eating contests, costume contest, polka lessons and kids activities including a bounce house. Admission for adults is $5. 18 and under are free.
Location: 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, California 92806
Dixon Oktoberfest – Dixon, CA – October 19, 2013
Oktoberfest and Run – Redwood City, CA – October 12, 2013
Three races (a half marathon, timed 5K and a 5Kolor Run) starting at 8 AM as well as live music and dozens of beers to support three charities. Oktoberfest and After Party from noon – 9 PM.
Stallion Springs Oktoberfest Tehachapi, CA – October 5, 2013
Fun for the whole family with food, beer and kids activities from noon until 6 PM.
Location: Stallion Springs Community Center, 27800 Stallion Springs Dr, Tehachapi.
Camp Richardson Oktoberfest – Lake Tahoe, CA – October 5-6, 2013
Lake Tahoe Oktoberfest with German food, beer and wine garden, pumpkin patch, costume contest for people and dogs, music and family activities.
Location: 1900 Jameson Beach Rd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158
Stocktoberfest – Stockton, CA – October 5, 2013
Beers and brats on the waterfront from 2-10 PM (1 PM for VIPs). 21+ only. Craft beers, home brews, sausage, chicken dance-off, keg lifting and beer stein holding competitions. Live classic rock and accordion music. Discount for advance ticket prices on their website. Save $2 off beer when dressed in costume!
Cambria Oktoberfest – Cambria, CA – October 5, 2013
Noon until 7 PM. German food, beer music (The Mudskippers) and dancing. Contests include the chicken dance contest, men’s ugly legs contest and ladies lovely leg contest.
Location: Veterans’ Hall, 1000 Main Street, Cambria CA
Los Osos Oktoberfest - Los Osos, CA – October 27, 2013
35th annual Oktoberfest and 8th Annual Car Show by the Bay. Starts with a 4-Mile run and pancake breakfast. There’s a beer garden, arts & crafts, children’s activities, music and live entertainment.
Location: Baywood Park, 2nd Street, Los Osos, CA, United States, 93402
Hacienda Grill Oktoberfest – Los Gatos, CA – September 28, 2013
The Hacienda Grill is having an Oktoberfest on September 28th from 11am to 10pm. German music, beer, wine, food and fun! There will be a massive beer garden, traditional German games, 2 live German bands (AlpinersUSA and The Internationals) and the Nature Friends Schuhplattler dancers will perform at the event. Cost is $15 for ages 21 and over (adult admission includes 1 drink ticket), ages 13-20 is $5 and kids 12 and under are free. On Fridays until the Oktoberfest, they are doing a food truck festival.
Location: Hacienda Grill, 18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Road, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Placerville Oktoberfest – Placerville, CA – September 21, 2013
Third annual Oktoberfest. Keg is tapped at 3 PM. Weiner dog races and other Oktoberfest contests.
Oktoberfest Boot Camp – Wirtshaus – September 13-14, 2013
Regular Oktoberfest starts at the Wirsthaus on September 21st.
Location: 345 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Palm Springs Oktoberfest – Palm Springs, CA – October 19, 2013
Bavarian festival with 50 booths of German beer, wine tasting and food. 2 stages of live music. General admission tickets are $20. VIP admission is $50. 21+ only.
Location: Spa Resort Casino, 502 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs CA
San Pedro Square Market Oktoberfest – San Jose, CA – October 12, 2013
Outdoor beer gardens with German beer and food, German Inspired Cocktails, San Jose’s largest chicken dance, Oktoberfest games, wiener dog races, and Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest contest. Kids are free!
Location: 87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110
Rotary Club Thousand Oaks Sunrise Oktoberfest – Camarillo, CA
They haven’t updated the website yet for 2013.
Location: Air Force Aviation Museum, 455 Aviation Dr, Camarillo, CA
NorCal Oktoberfest – Modesto, CA
This event was not held in 2013.
Location: 4342 Dale Rd, Modesto CA
You’ll notice that there are plenty of authentic, popular Oktoberfest parties in California so you don’t have to leave the state for Oktoberfest. But here are three nearby states where you might also find an Oktoberfest worth attending: Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.
We’ve got some other resources that would help you prepare for Oktoberfest as well. Read about the history of Oktoberfest. Learn about Oktoberfest beer. Find the words to Oktoberfest music. Plan your Oktoberfest outfit. And try cooking some of these Oktoberfest recipes.
Find other fun things to do in California in October: