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!
Bell’s Brewery Oktoberfest – Kalamazoo, MI – Sept 11, 2016
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
Dakota Inn – Detroit, MI – Friday & Saturday 8 PM, Starting September 16, 2016
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller kicks off this Detroit Oktoberfest on Friday, September 16th 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
Rochester Mills Beer Co. – Rochester, MI – September 22-24, 2016
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
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
Old Town Oktoberfest – Lansing, MI – Sept 30 – Oct 1, 2016
This Lansing Oktoberfest is the 11th 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
Oktoberfest Muskegon – Muskegon, MI – Sept 30 – Oct 1, 2016
Skitoberfest – October 1, 2016
Held at Boyne Mountain.
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.
Oktoberfest Royal Oak Beer Fest – Royal Oak, Mi – October 8, 2016
Ciders and seasonals.
Old Dog Tavern Oktoberfest – Kalamazoo, MI – October 8, 2016
Pentwater’s Oktoberfest – Pentwater, MI – October 7-8, 2016
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.
Detroit Oktoberfest – Black Bottom Brew Club – October 3, 2015
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.
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.
Deckerville Oktoberfest – Deckerville, MI – September 16, 2015
Ales and Tails Oktoberfest – South Haven, MI – Sept 19, 2015
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: