Oktoberfest in Michigan
There are numerous options available in September and October 2016 for Great Lakes residents to celebrate Oktoberfest in Michigan. Make the trip southeast of Saginaw to Michigan’s Little Bavaria to enjoy the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest. Or enjoy the local communities, restaurants and breweries hosting German festivals in Detroit, Lansing and throughout the rest of the state. With more than two million residents claiming German heritage, it should come as no surprise that there is lots of German beer and bratwurst consumed in the fall here.
We hope you enjoyed last year’s list. We will be updating this information for 2016 over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
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We update the dates and location for each Michigan Oktoberfest when they are announced throughout the year. If you have updated information about an event, or we are missing one, please let us know!
Frankenmuth Oktoberfest – Frankenmuth, MI – September 15-18, 2016
Growing up in Metro Detroit, we always made an annual trip to Frankenmuth in the fall to enjoy the German food in in Michigan’s Little Bavaria. This is the only Oktoberfest outside of Munich to be sanctioned by them. The 26th annual event will have live music from German bands, polka dancing and wiener dog races at the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion. In 2014, the opening ceremony was on Thursday night at 7 PM. Organizers generally expect between 8,000 and 10,000 to be there over the course of the weekend. Parking is free and adult admission is $8 with no charge on Sunday. Location: Heritage Park, Weiss St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Saline Harvest of the Arts Oktoberfest – Saline, MI – September 23-24, 2016
The 12th annual Saline Oktoberfest is hosted by Saline Main Street in conjunction with its sister city Lindenberg, Germany. It will have live music, Hammerschlagen tournament, vintage car show, Fireman’s chili challenge. Kinderplatz children’s activity area includes pony rides, goat feeding and other fun options. Thousands attend the two day harvest festival.
Oktoberfest West Michigan – Grand Rapids, MI – September 23-24, 2016
The Edelweiss Club hosts this Grand Rapids Oktoberfest featuring Erdinger Beer, German food (and root beer for kids), German Bands and Alphorn players. Saturday children’s activities include a number of different inflatables for them to enjoy. Adult games include two person barrel roll, keg tossing or stein holding. Admission and parking are free. Location: John Ball Park, 1300 West Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Curtis Oktoberfest – Curtis, MI – September 24, 2016
10th annual event. Hours: Noon to 7 PM. Includes live music, best dressed Bavarian contest, soup cook off and beer tent with German inspired food. Do not miss the Apple Desert Bake-Off. Chicken dinners by 3 Lakes Fireworks Committee.
Location: Erickson Center Park. Saw-Wa-Quato St, Curtis, MI.
St Joseph Oktoberfest – Detroit, MI – Sept 24-25, 2016
Octoberfest Music and Craft Beer Festival – Ludington, MI – October 7-8, 2016
2016 will be their fourth annual event sponsored by Bell’s Brewing. Live music and craft beer on Saturday. Pub crawl on Friday night. Sample free chili at the Saturday chili walk. German attire encouraged! Art activities and free pumpkin decorating for kids on Saturday. Tickets usually go on sale online around August 1st. There is free on-street parking and several free public parking lots near the festival. General admission (two drink tickets) is $20 before October 1st and $25 after. VIP Admission (online only) is $40 and includes beer stein, Friday evening beer school and two drink tickets. Location: The Parking Lot to the South of the Community Garden. Walk-in Entrance is the West Alley near the intersection of Rath Ave and Ludington Ave.
Detroit Oktoberfest – Black Bottom Brew Club – October 3, 2015
Pentwater’s Oktoberfest – Pentwater, MI – October 9-10, 2015
An annual fall event since 1997. The tentative schedule for 2014 has been posted. Friday night will have bingo at the VFW Hall and Comedy Night at Village Cafe & Pub. Saturday will have a number of events including classic car & hot rod show, chili cook-off, and Italian wine tasting. Pumpkin and face painting in the morning for kids. Games in the early afternoon include barrel race, Sprint for the Stein and egg toss. The entertainment tent will show both Michigan State and Michigan football. Polka dance contest, chicken dance contest and live music on Saturday evening. Events are located around Village Green, a park in downtown Pentwater located on the west side of Hancock (Main) Street.
Canterbury Village’s Oktoberfest – Lake Orion, MI – September 25-27, 2015
The popular attraction in Lake Orion holds their annual Oktoberfest over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Last year’s description: music by Radioactive, Enzian Group, Rhinelanders, and Stuck on Dirty. Great German food, activities, bounce house, face painting, and kids petting zoo. Held at the Kings Court Castle beginning Friday at 7:00 pm.
Location: Kings Court Castle, 2325 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion, MI.
Dakota Inn – Detroit, MI – Friday & Saturday 8 PM, September 18 – October 31, 2015
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller kicks off this Detroit Oktoberfest on Friday, September 18th with live music and imported German beer. They have German bands and polka dancing on Friday and Saturday nights throughout October. Bring your chicken hat or buy one at the door! Dakota Inn is an authentic German bar created by a Highland Park Ford factory worker in the 1930s in an old Chinese hand laundry. It is operated by the founder’s grandson and listed on the State Register of Historic Sites.
Location: 17324 John R Street, Detroit, MI
Old Town Oktoberfest – Lansing, MI – October 9-10, 2015
This Lansing Oktoberfest is the 10th annual Mid-Michigan German Oktoberfest. It’s a two day event with German food, live music, dancing and beer. Tickets are $15 in advance and include souvenir beer mug and three food & drink tickets. Tickets are $20 at the door. Saturday admission is free if you show up with an intact wristband and your souvenir mug from Friday. Strictly 21+. This festival is a fundraiser for the Old Town Community Association. Location: Old Town, Lansing, MI 48906
Rochester Mills Beer Co. – Rochester, MI – September 25-26, 2015
The event traditionally runs Thursday through Sunday and celebrates the unveiling of their seasonal Oktoberfest lager brewed in-house. Ceremonial keg tapping on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday has brat & kraut eating contests and a stein hoisting competition. Live, traditional German music throughout the celebration as well as scheduled bavarian dancing. A one litre beer stein has historically been available for collectors to purchase. For the first year in 2013, a carnival was hosted by the Rochester Hills Lions Club in conjunction with the event. Carnival games, moonwalks, pony rides, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, clowns, and temporary-tattoo artists were available for families to enjoy. In 2011, they served up 72 kegs of beer, more than 100 bottles of wine, 2000 bratwurst and 200 pounds of sauerkraut.
Location: 400 Water St, Rochester MI 48307
Downtown Soo Oktoberfest – Sault Ste. Marie, MI – September 26, 2015
This Upper Peninsula Oktoberfest will have live music, dancing, arts & crafts, pub crawl and kids activities. Games include the tug-o-war competition, keg toss competition and keg rolling race. The 5th Annual Sault Area Chamber Chase concludes only a short jaunt away from the 16th annual Oktoberfest here if you would like to conclude your run with some beer. They feature a marathon run in the morning. See the Fire Truck Pull at noon. Experience the Keg tossing tournament at 2:00 pm and the pub crawl all day. Of course they have live polka music.
Location: Ashmun and Portage, Sault Ste. Marie MI
Bloomingdale Oktoberfest – Bloomingdale, MI – September 25-27, 2015
Allen Park Oktoberfest – Allen Park, MI – Oct 2, 2015
First Annual Oktoberfest on Friday, October 2, 2015, the event runs from 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm and
is preceded by the Allen Park Farmers Market.
Old Dog Tavern – Kalamazoo – October 4, 2014
Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo – September 6, 2014
Zoo Brew at the Detroit Zoo – Royal Oak, MI – September 26, 2014
The 4th annual event for those 21+ features live music, food and beers from Michigan craft breweries. Tickets are $35-40. Sample some 100 craft brews.
Location: 8450 W 10 Mile Rd Royal Oak, MI 48067
Deckerville Oktoberfest – Deckerville, MI – September 27, 2014
Newberry Oktoberfest – cancelled
Live music and dancing are on the schedule for this Oktoberfest. There will be Arts & Craft Vendors on Sunday. Two day dance admission is $18 or $10 per day. Children 13 and under are free when with adult.
Location: M-123, Newberry, MI
Michigan Brewers Oktoberfest – October 5, 2013
More than 100 different craft beers and ciders will be available. Admission ticket gets you 15 tickets for sampling with additional tickets available for $2 each. Tickets are $35 on their website or $30 if purchased at Kroger. 21+ only.
Location: Canterbury Village, Lake Orion, MI
Saugatuck Brewing Oktoberfest – Douglas, MI – October 5th, 2013
They will tap a special Oktoberfest beer. There will be a German polka band, German food, best German costume contest, as well as stein holding and polka competitions.
Location: 2948 Blue Star Hwy – Douglas, MI 49406
Douglas Oktoberfest – Douglas, MI – CANCELLED IN 2013
The Saugatuck website indicates that this event was cancelled in 2013. The planned date was September 28th with opening ceremony parade, keg tapping, children’s activities and adult keg toss.
Location: Downtown Douglas – Beery Field
You really don’t need to leave Michigan for a good Oktoberfest. But you might consider one of the ones in Ohio. Other nearby states with an Oktoberfest include Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Also check out the list of the largest Oktoberfests in the United States.
Whether you have found a festival to enjoy or you will be celebrating from home, Funtober has some other resources that will help you prepare for Oktoberfest. 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 Michigan in October: