Oktoberfest in Indiana
Celebrate Oktoberfest in Indiana this year. The 1.6 million Indiana residents claiming German ancestry have eleven German festivals for 2015 Oktoberfest to decide which one (or more) they want to attend. And if you decide to venture into a nearby state, you can find even more fabulous festivals. Here are the local Indiana Oktoberfest celebrations if you choose to stay close to home:
German Park Oktoberfest – Indianapolis, IN – September 4-7, 2014
The German American Club and Edelweiss Restaurant host this Oktoberfest. Live music and entertainment. Admission is $5 and kids 12 and under are free. We believe Thursday is $5 carload day. Entertainment is too numerous to list completely but will include The Original Alpine Express, die Fledermauschen Tanzgruppe, Jay Fox & the Bavarian Showtime Band, Tastes Like Chicken, The Flying Toasters, PolkaMotion, Speed Bump Barbershop Quartet, GLADtones Barbershop Quartet and Marcus Lehmann (magician). Members of any German organization get in free if they show their membership card at the gate. Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed. Location: 8600 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis
St. Boniface Germanfest – Lafayette, IN – September 6, 2014
Food, live music, dancing and fun. PolkaBoy is scheduled to be there playing.
Fort Wayne OktoBEERfest – September 13, 2014
A beer festival organized by Mad Anthony that has been happening for more than ten years. Try more than 100 Indiana beers from 20 regional craft brewers. Price of ticket includes souvenir glass and unlimited tastings. Golf outing happens the day before, Sept. 12th at Bridgewater at 1 PM. Location: Headwater’s Park West, Fort Wayne, IN
Monument Circle Oktoberfest – Indianapolis, IN – September 19, 2014
4th Annual Indianapolis Oktoberfest hosted by the Columbia Club with German & American food, live music and biergarten. Portion of proceeds goes to local organizations. Admission is free and open to the public. PolkaBoy will be there playing live music. Location: Monument Circle, Meridian and Market, Indianapolis
The Rathskeller Oktoberfest – September 26-27, 2014
Live music by Polkaboy and the Woomblies as part of their Oktoberfest weekend celebration. Location: 401 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis, IN 46204
Fishers Oktoberfest – Saxony, IN – September 25-26, 2015.
Live music, arts and crafts, kids games and German food. Beer garden is open from noon to 10 PM for ages 21+ with Warsteiner and Leinenkugel on tap. Domestic and import beers are $4-5. Live music begins at noon and includes Polkamotion, Big Daddy Caddy and My Yellow Rickshaw. Food menu includes a variety of German and American items including bratwurst, knautwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, funnel cake and elephant ears. Free admission. Location: Witten Park, 131st and Olio Road, Fishers IN
Seymour Oktoberfest – Seymour, IN – October 1-3, 2014
This festival has been happening for more than 40 years. Bier Garten, carnival and flea market at First Methodist Church. There are a number of contests over the weekend, including the 5K walk/run, baking contest, horseshoe tournament, cornhole tournament, prince & princess, window & booth decorating, baby contest, polka & chicken dance, talent contest, brat eating and coloring contest. When the weather cooperates, there is also a hot air balloon race. Three stages of free entertainment nightly, including bluegrass festival, dancers, cloggers and German band. There are also carnival rides, arts & crafts, pumpkin painting, dumpster decorating, sand art booth and cake walk for kids in the One Kids Square. Admission is free. Pets are not allowed. Location: 2nd and Walnut, Seymour
The Holy Name Oktoberfest – Beech Grove, Indiana – October 3-4, 2014
A two day community event hosted by Holy Name Parish of Beech Grove that is attended by more than 1,000 people. Authentic German food, biergarten, live music and kids zone with games. The Flying Toasters and Polkaboy will be performing again this year. The festival raises funds to support the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.
Carmel City Center Octoberfest – October 10, 2014 – Carmel City Center
An annual event celebrating fall. Festival is free to the public and open to all age ranges. PolkaBoy, a 14 piece band that plays a variety of music from polka to classic rock, will be there playing live music. There will also be food, drink and biergarten of course.
GermanFest – Indianapolis, IN – October 11, 2014
6th annual celebration of German-American Day. German food, beer, strong man competition, 5k Lederhosen Run/Walk, Wiener Dog Races. ZwergenLand for Kids ($2) has play area, arts & crafts, bounce house, fishing pond, face painting and other activities. Two stages of entertainment from noon to 7 PM. Beer Games for teams of five members 21+ includes contests such as beer stein holding, cow toss, stein relay and grape stompede. Proceeds benefit Historic Athenaeum. Cost is still to be determined but last year it was $8-10. Location: 401 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
OAKtoberfest – Syracuse, IN – October 11, 2014
Join the Oakwood Resort, Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua-Wawasee for the second annual “Oak”toberfest. This German festival will include children’s activities, German food, live music, beer tent, chicken dance and more! Location: Oakwood Resort
Michigan City Oktoberfest - Michigan City/Laporte, IN - October 11-12, 2014
Indoor and outdoor festival with food, entertainment and drinks. Location: Michigan City Senior Center.
Bristow oktoberfest and Car Show – October 11, 2015.
Antique, classic car and truck show with live entertainment and food. Free admission.
Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville – Zionsville – October 11, 2014
Saturday night from 7 to 11 PM, there will be an event to support the local Boys & Girls Clubs. Live music by Cousin Roger. Food, auction and other fun. Advance tickets are $75. Price is $85 in October.
Location: Golf Club of Indiana Cardinal Room
Richmond Oktoberfest – Richmond, IN – September 27-28, 2014
5th Annual Oktoberfest includes locally made beer, brats, games, live music, trike race and crafts. Saturday hours are 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Sunday hours are 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. This is a huge street fair with lots of local crafts and artisans. The beer garden features brews by the New Boswell Brewing Company. Do not miss Ullery’s Ice Cream.
Location: Historic Depot District
St. John Oktoberfest – St John, IN – October 3-5, 2014
8th annual Indiana Oktoberfest from St. John the Evangelist Parish. Music, bier garden with HB and Miller, wine, German food, and kids activities such as pumpkin decorating and moon bounce. They have featured live music running all three days.
Location: 9400 Wicker Ave, St. John, IN 46373
Kokomo Rocktoberfest – Kokomo, IN – October 3, 2015. 2nd annual concert to benefit The Kokomo Urban Outreach Food Panty and bring awareness to hard drug abuse. Not particularly sure if this belongs as an Oktoberfest or better placed in the Music festivals section. Activities include pumpkin decorating, face painting, a moon bounce, hula hoops, and Jake the Dog meet and greet. The Bier Garden opens at noon. Football coverage on the 2 TV’s runs from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm.
Location: Foster Park, Downtown Kokomo
Herron Morton Place Oktoberfest – Indianapolis – October 4, 2014
Fourth annual event from 2-9 PM. Will have food trucks, restaurant vendors, live music and beer. Located at historic Herron-Morton Place Park in downtown Indianapolis. Kids are welcome until 7 PM and dogs are allowed! Event proceeds benefit the park.
Last Year’s Events
Whiting Oktoberfest – Whiting, IN – October 5, 2013
Some of these festivals might be on the smaller side. Try my list of the largest Oktoberfests in the United States for the most popular and attended celebrations of German heritage. You should also check the lists of nearby states for more Oktoberfest celebrations: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
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 Indiana in October: