Oktoberfest in Michigan
Oktoberfest in Michigan 2014 is big business for this popular tourist state. With more than two million residents claiming German heritage, it comes as no surprise that Michigan has twenty one Oktoberfest festivals. Drive to Frankenmuth of an authentic German celebration. Or just enjoy the good German food and beer at a local festival:
Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo – September 6, 2014
Frankenmuth Oktoberfest – Frankenmuth, MI – September 18-21, 2014
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 25th annual event will have live music from German bands, polka dancing and wiener dog races at the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion Last year 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
Oktoberfest West Michigan – Grand Rapids, MI – September 26-27, 2014
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
Saline Harvest of the Arts Oktoberfest – Saline, MI – September 26-27, 2014
The 10th 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.
Old Town Oktoberfest – Lansing, MI – October 3-4, 2014
This Lansing Oktoberfest is the 9th 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
Old Dog Tavern – Kalamazoo – October 4, 2014
Pentwater’s Oktoberfest – Pentwater, MI – October 10-11, 2014
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.
Downtown Ludington – Ludington, MI – October 11, 2014
2014 will be their second annual event and is sponsored by Bell’s Brewing. They will probably have a similar lineup to last year: live music and craft beer, BBQ rib cook off, chili walk and MITTCRIT bike race. Tickets last year went on sale August 1st. Location: North James Street Plaza
Rochester Mills Beer Co. – Rochester, MI – September 26-29, 2013
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
Dakota Inn – Detroit, MI - Friday & Saturday 8 PM, September 20 – October 26, 2013
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller kicks off this Detroit Oktoberfest on Friday, September 20th 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
Zoo Brew at the Detroit Zoo – Royal Oak, MI – September 27, 2013
The 3rd annual event for those 21+ features live music, food and beers from Michigan craft breweries.
Location: 8450 W 10 Mile Rd Royal Oak, MI 48067
Deckerville Oktoberfest – Deckerville, MI – Last Saturday in September
Downtown Soo Oktoberfest – Sault Ste. Marie, MI – September 28, 2013
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 4th Annual Sault Area Chamber Chase concludes only a short jaunt away from the 14th annual Oktoberfest here if you would like to conclude your run with some beer.
Location: Ashmun and Portage, Sault Ste. Marie MI
Curtis Oktoberfest – Curtis, MI – September 28, 2013
This 7th annual Oktoberfest includes live music, best dressed Bavarian contest, soup cook off and beer tent with German inspired food.
Location: Erickson Center Park. Saw-Wa-Quato St, Curtis, MI,
Newberry Oktoberfest – October 4-5, 2013
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: