Oktoberfest in Illinois
I found 28 celebrations of Oktoberfest in Illinois for 2014. That’s an impressive number for Chicago and the rest of this Midwestern state. I think only California residents have more options to remember their German heritage. The 2.6 million citizens claiming German heritage will just have to make do with one of these Illinois Oktoberfest celebrations:
Oktoberfest in August – Buffalo Grove, IL – August 15-17, 2014
Hosted by Schwaben Verein of Chicago, this event has been going on for more than 100 years. Entry fee is a $10 donation with children 12 years of age and younger free. Parking and entertainment is free. Food drink and amusement game tickets may be purchased. German buffet is $14 on Saturday and Sunday. Party tent provides rain or shine fun. There will be domestic and German beer, bratwurst, singers and dancers. Arcade games and rides for kids. Location: Schwaben Center, 301 N. Weiland Road, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Villa Park Oktoberfest – Villa Park, IL – September 5-7, 2014
Live entertainment, carnival, beer tent. Unlimited Carnival Rides for $20 per person. Talent contest, adult bags tournament and teen pizza judging contest on Saturday. Music in the evenings by Billy Croft & the 5 Alarm, and 7th heaven. Location: Lions Park, 320 E. Wildwood Ave., Villa Park
German American Fest - Chicago, IL – September 5-7, 2014
Three days and nights of German heritage fun with free admission. Not really an Oktoberfest because in part it doesn’t focus on the beer. It does have all the festival foods, German music, singing and dancing, beverages, plus events you might expect from a big city event. On Saturday the Von Steuben Parade kicks off at 4000 N. Lincoln Avenue and continues to Eastwood, Western, and ends at the German American Fest grounds at Lincoln Square. The reviewing stand is at Lincoln Plaza near Leland and Western avenues. Most of the areas German heritage societies participate in both the parade and festival. The fun kicks off Friday at 5:00 pm. Saturday runs from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Sunday starts at 12:00 pm and runs through 10:00 pm.
Itasca Oktoberfest – Itasca, IL – September 5-6, 2014
This free Oktoberfest on Orchard Street features a Kids Korner, the Johnny Wagner Band, and the kick off ceremony with Mayor Pruyen. The Jimmy Bavarians play on Saturday. It runs until 11:00 pm both nights.
Berghoff Oktoberfest – Chicago, IL – September 10-12, 2014
The 29th annual festival from this German restaurant in Chicago. Keg tapping ceremony is generally held before the event. Weekend activities are held at at John C. Kluczynski Federal plaza with German musical performances, including The Johnny Wagner Band, and some of Chicago’s favorite bands nightly. Special menu and beer tasting. Free admission. There will also be a Prost! Final Toast to end it. Location: 17 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
Cafe 20 Oktoberfest – Marengo, IL – September 16-21, 2014
7 days of authentic celebration with live music and German food including bratwurst, jaeger schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels and roast chicken. Location: 756 Grant Highway, Marengo, Illinois.
Palatine Oktoberfest - Palatine, IL – September 19-21, 2014
Attendance is free at this Oktoberfest event under the big heated tent in downtown Palatine. Expect good food, good beer, good music, and lots of family friendly festival type things to do. Saturday is family day with special activities for the kids. Event is put on by the Rotary Club of Palatine as their principal fund raising event. Their support raises thousands of dollars for local charities. Opening ceremonies are at 5:00 pm on Friday. Saturday features their music and dance performances by youth groups and area choirs. Kids love the face painting, crafts and arts tables. Don’t miss Scarecrows on Parade. Bands include Phenix, Die Musikmeisters, Jimmy Bavarians, and The Johnny Wagner Band.
Location: 150 W. Slade St., Palatine, Illinois.
McHenry Sunrise Rotary Oktoberfest – McHenry, IL – October 24, 2014
If you like beer, the place to be is Oktoberfest on Friday at the McHenry VFW Post from 6 – 11 p.m. Lots of craft brewers will be there to talk beer and offer tastings of their brews. Every admission includes a commemorative event mug, one free sausage with fresh chips and unlimited beer samplings. Raffles and tickets proceeds will benefit charity.
Location: 3002 W. Route 120, McHenry, Illinois.
Manteno Oktoberfest – Manteno, IL – September 25-28, 2014
A four day festival attended by approximately 10,000. 17th annual Oktoberfest hosted by the Manteno Chamber of Commerce. Beer garden with stage offering live music. Carnival including ferris wheel and amusement rides on Main Street. Bike Night, Lighted Parade (Saturday), pet parade, grass volleyball tournament, bean bag tournament and scarecrow contest for residents of Manteno. Also a lawnmower poker run, car show and performances by Dance Alive! Dance Studio. There are also garage sales in conjunction with the event, map available two weeks prior. Location: Main St, Manteno
Plano Oktoberfest – Plano, IL – September 26-28, 2014
10th annual Illinois Oktoberfest with live German music under a huge circus tent on Main Street. Authentic German bands, beer wagon, and traditional German food. Food includes bratwurst, schnitzel, roast pork, spaetzle, sauerkraut, red cabbage and more. Beer from Hacker-Pschorr and DAB. Chicken Dance contests on Friday and Saturday with Miss Oktoberfest contest on Saturday night. Location: Main Street, Downtown Plano, IL
Blocktoberfest at St. Leonard School – Berwyn, IL – September 27th, 2014
Live Music, food and beer at this family event with kids activities. Free Admission. Rain Date is Sunday.
Location: 3318 Clarence Ave, Berwyn, IL
Naperville Oktoberfest – Naperville, IL – October 3-4, 2014
Live music (from German Oompa to classic rock), German beer and food. Family friendly activities on Saturday from noon to 5 PM. Advance tickets are $10 for adults (13+) and $5 for kids (4-12). Advance ticket purchases end at noon on October 2nd. Saturday admission also includes tour of Naper Settlement. Enter through the Pre-Emption House Visitor Center. Proceeds benefit the Naperville Heritage Society. Location: 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540
German Society of Rockford Oktoberfest – Rockford, IL – October 3-4, 2014
50th annual festival with German food and beer. Chicken Dance. Miss Oktoberfest contest on Friday. Bier barrel race, running of the wieners, yodeling contest and barmaid stein race. Menu options include potato pancakes, bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut and more. Advance two-day entry tickets are $14. Gate tickets are $10 per day. VIP party tickets available. It will be located at Loves Park City Hall in Loves Park, IL.
Galena Oktoberfest – Galena, IL – October 4, 2014
8th Annual Oktoberfest from noon to 10 PM with ceremonial keg tapping, live music, polka lessons and dancing, bean bag tournament, beer stein endurance contest, wiener dog races. Kids entertainment includes bounce house and pumpkin decorating. Admission is $5 for 13+. Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult are free. 4000 people attended in 2013. Location: Depot Park (Highway 20 and Park Avenue), Galena, Illinois
Sullivan Oktoberfest – Sullivan, IL – October 17-18, 2014
Includes beer tent, chili cook-off, 5K, Artoberfest & Wine Tasting, and free entertainment.
Oktoberfest Chicago – Chicago, IL – September 26-28, 2014
The popular Chicago Oktoberfest hosted by St. Alphonsus Church. Schedule last year was: Gates open at 5 PM on Friday, which is craft beer night from 6-9 PM (tickets needed). Kinderfest on Sunday from 11-2 pm with free admission on family day.
Location: St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
Peoria Oktoberfest – Peoria, IL – September 19-21, 2014
The German American Central Society and the Peoria Park District are sponsoring once again the Peoria Oktoberfest on September 19th, 20th, and 21st, to promote German culture and heritage of Central Illinois! We are happy to announce that we do have a new band from Germany coming this year, the Schwartzwald Vagabunden. The rest of the entertainment lineup is the same as last year including crowd favorite the Bolzen Beer Band! Additional Activities: A German Heritage Tent display with a genealogy search will be available. Also, a Puppet Theatre, the Peoria Volkstaenzers, Log Sawing, and various contests such as the Masskrugstemmen (arm strength contest with filled steins) will be featured. Vendors with authentic German clothing and merchandise as well as other items will be available for purchase. Children’s activities are also scheduled. Several carnival rides will be available, including a merry- go-round. Both German and American foods will be available. Complete German dinners will be available in the main tent. German beers will be featured including Spaten Oktoberfest, along with German Wines from our Weinstube and German spirits in the Knappe. Domestic beers also.
The third Annual “Das Bier Run” 5K Run und Walk, in conjunction with the Oktoberfest in Peoria Riverfront Park to be held Sunday, September 21st. The run begins at 12:30 pm and starts South of the Gateway building on the Peoria Riverfront. Top runners in each category will receive either a trophy or medal. A costume contest is part of this year’s race. The race is being sponsored by the Peoria Jaycees, the Peoria German-American Society, and the Peoria Park District. Races have been part of Oktoberfests since they were started in the early 1800’s. At that time though it was horse racing and not foot races. Registration fee is $30. Register at http://www.DasBierRun.com.
Location: Riverfront, Peoria, IL
Raue Center Oktoberfest – Crystal Lake – Sept 26-27, 2014
First annual Oktoberfest with food, music and Kinderfest at Raue Center for the Arts. 4 PM to Midnight on Friday. 2 PM to Midnight on Saturday. There will be a beer garden tent at University Center at 100 South Main St.
Belleville Oktoberfest – Belleville, IL – September 19-21, 2014
The City is holding a 200 anniversary celebration on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Entertainers include the Bob Kuban Band, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, Daryl Worley, Craig Morgan, and a special performance by the Beach Boys.
Location: Belleville Town Square. Il 159, Belleville, IL, 62220
Havana Oktoberfest – Havana, IL – September 5-7, 2014
40th annual event put on by the Chamber of Commerce.
Maeystown Oktoberfest – Maeystown, IL – October 12, 2014
Second Sunday in October. Arts, crafts and antique fair with german food.
Rotary Club of Palatine Oktoberfest – Palatine, IL – September 19-21, 2014
Opening ceremonies on Friday with short parade and keg tapping ceremony at 5:00 pm. Saturday is Family Day with special kids programming and scarecrows on parade. Live music, authentic German food and beer. Free admission. Music is by Jimmy’s Bavarians, Die Musikmeisters, Phenix, and the Johnny Wagner band.
Location: 50 N. Brockway St, Palatine, IL
Oak Brook Park District Oktoberfest – Oak Brook, IL – September 20, 2014
The 4th annual Oktoberfest with live music, food, Two Brothers beer, futbol and softball tournament and kids activities. They have teamed up with the Ronald McDonald House and the Village of Oak Brook to bring you a family friendly fun event. Music provided by the Chicago Tribute Anthology and 7th Heaven.
Location: 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
St. Mary’s Oktoberfest – Alton, IL – October 11-13, 2014
Live music, games and silent auction. Keg tapping ceremony at 1 PM on Saturday. Beer from Warsteiner, Spaten, Paulaner and more. German and American food, too!
Location: 519 East 4th Street, Alton, IL 62002
Woodstock Oktoberfest – Woodstock, IL – September 12-13, 2014
German food, beer and wine. Live music. Fun for all ages on Saturday including polka dancing, stein endurance contest, cornhole, face painting and bouncy house.
Location: Emricson Park, Woodstock WaterWorks
The American Aid Society of German Descendants Oktoberfest – Lake Villa, IL – September 20 & 27 & October 4, 2014
Three separate Saturdays of Oktoberfest and live music starting at 6:30 pm.
Rotary Club of Quincy Oktoberfest – Quincy, IL – October 11, 2014
Free admission and celebration of Quincy own German breweries. Visit Dick Brother brewery, enjoy live entertainment, dance in the streets, and lots of brats and food to eat.
German American Heritage Center’s Oktoberfest – Frankfort, IL – September 13, 2014
The German American Heritage Center invites you & your family to their Haus to celebrate Oktoberfest! Entertainment, including German music, split-the-pot raffles, vendors, German food & beer for purchase and this year a NEW Kinder Area. $10 adult admission/FREE children under 18. Gates open at 2pm.
Location: 25249 S. Center Road, Frankfort, IL. 60423
Chicago Brauhaus Oktoberfest – Chicago, IL – Wednesday thru Sunday, Sept 24-Oct 26th, 2014
Chicago Brauhaus celebrates Oktoberfest on Wednesday through Sunday nights. Oktoberfest menu, Spaten beer and live entertainment. Yodeling contest at 7 PM nightly.
Location: 4732 N Lincoln Ave Chicago IL 60625
Hyde Park Oktoberfest - Chicago, IL – October 4, 2014
Beer garden, food, live music and market. Location: Nichols Park
St. Joseph School Oktoberfest – September 20, 2014
Location: 1740 Lake Street, Wilmette, Illinois
Long Grove Oktoberfest – Long Grove, IL – October 4-5, 2014
Village Tavern and City of Long Grove host beer trucks, German food, free hay rides, pumpkin decorating, music by the band New Odyssey, and lots more. Event runs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Vernon Hills Oktoberfest – Vernon Hills, IL – September 27, 2014
10th annual Oktoberfest at the Metra Station. Kids crafts and pumpkin painting. Food and domestic beer with live music. Beers include Blue Moon, Tighthead, Old Style, and Miller. Pick up a free tree from the park district.
Oktoberfest with a New Philharmonic Twist – Glen Ellyn – October 11-12, 2014
New Philharmonic (NP), under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, presents “Oktoberfest with a New Philharmonic Twist.” The special Oktoberfest themed concert will feature popular works by German composers, sing-alongs more. Tickets: $46. Parking is free. Attendees can add to the festive experience with a pre-show outdoor Oktoberfest dinner of traditional German fare for an additional $30 per person.
Elgin Oktoberfest – Elgin, IL – October 19, 2013
Dancing, food and raffles hosted by St. Laurence Church.
Location: St. Laurence Parish, Jewett & Standish Street, Elgin, IL 60123
St. Joseph’s Oktoberfest – St. Joseph, IL
Another website is showing this event as October 5-6, 2013 but we haven’t seen anything on their website or facebook page.
Location: 529 Madison, Lockport, IL
Southside Oktoberfest – Bridgeview, IL
We don’t see any mention of this event for 2013 on their website or the Toyota Park website where it is typically held. We see the dates posted as September 27-29, 2013 but that posting was created in Feb and we’re not sure about its credibility.
Itasca Oktoberfest – Itasca, IL – September 6-7, 2013
6th annual Oktoberfest with Friday keg tapping, live music and authentic german food.
Location: Orchard Street behind train station, Itasca, Illinois.
Fox Valley Oktoberfest – Batavia, IL – October 11-13, 2013
The website still has the 2012 information but http://enjoyaurora.com is reporting the dates listed above.
Location: 151 Island Avenue, Batavia, IL.
Germany’s Best and Oktoberfest – Chicago, IL
No information about a 2013 event on their website as of 9/4/2013.
Location: Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611
St. Raymond Fall Festival/Oktoberfest – Mt. Prospect, IL
We haven’t seen a 2013 date for this event but it’s been going on for a number of years.
Location: 301 S. I-Oka, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
If you’ve attended all of these festivals, you can always check out the list of the largest Oktoberfests in the United States and the celebrations in surrounding states: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.
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 Illinois in October: