Oktoberfest in Minnesota
Lots of beer, brats and oompah music will await those celebrating their German heritage at a Minnesota Oktoberfest this fall. In September and October 2016, these German beer festivals will be a popular destination for the nearly 2 million people in Minnesota who claim ancestry from Germany. With festivals spanning the state from New Ulm to Duluth, and several Minneapolis Oktoberfest options as well, we hope you are able to find one that you are able to attend.
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 Minnesota 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!
Pierz Oktoberfest – Pierz, MN – August 28, 2016
Organized by the Pierz Lions Club, it is generally held on the last Sunday in August unless it falls directly before Labor Day. 2016 will be the 32nd Anniversary of the festival. Last year’s description: Start the day with the fun run at Pierz Healy High School for a 2 mile or 5K run for the whole family. Parade generally starts around 11 AM. Following the parade, they hold a festival in the park which includes petting zoo, exotic animals, inflatables, bingo and children’s game. Purchase and wear their button to win one of the prizes in their giveaways. There are also brats & kraut, kettle corn, homemade pie and beer garden. Champions Forever, a traveling entertainment organization that performs at schools, colleges and halftime shows will also be there in 2014. Free shuttle bus transportion to the park from various parking lots – no unauthorized vehicles are allowed on Park Ave near the park. Related events take place for the week prior to the event. On Saturday night, for example, there will be a concert and fireworks. And don’t miss their famous Medallion Hunt, with a $500 award to the winner.
Schell’s Oktoberfest – New Ulm, MN October 15, 2016
Between 11 am and 4:30 pm, enjoy German food, dancing, music and plenty of Schell’s Oktoberfest beer inside the beer tent. Lots of fun activities for kids. Tickets are $5, kids free. Tour the brewery for $3 on a first come, first served basis. Schell’s is America’s second oldest family owned brewery, started in 1860 by August Schell. It survived Prohibition and has been passed down through six generations of the family. They make German craft beer. In 2013, their Oktoberfest beer took home a bronze medal in the American-Style Lager category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
Pelican Rapids Oktoberfest – Pelican Rapids, MN – October 7-11, 2015
Four days of Oktoberfest fun starting on Thursday and ending on Sunday. This will be the 18th annual event in 2015. Be sure not to miss the lead up events, including the search for the Oktoberfest medallions and hunt for Mr & Ms Oktoberfest If you can solve the clues, you win a prize of $50 in Pelican Bucks. In the past, Thursday events have included the crowning of Mr. & Ms. Oktoberfest, open house at the fire department with light supper served, bingo at the VFW, and a wine & beer tasting with live music. Friday has held the largest pumpkin contest, chainsaw sculpting, more bingo and a salute to the troops with live music at the VFW. Saturday included the Lions pancake breakfast, 5K and 10K run, farmer’s market and food court at the Pelican Rapids Fire Hall, pinochle tournament, live auction and more. Kids events included hay rides, pumpkin decorating and games at the PR Fire Hall. Or participate in the VolksMarch Walk for 11K. On Sunday, enjoy the “best of the wurst” sausage & beer sampling as well as the old-fashioned polka party. Proceeds go toward community beautification projects. Pelican Rapids is located in western Otter Tail County.
Black Forest Inn Oktoberfest – Minneapolis, MN – September 25 – October 4, 2015
10 days of Oktoberfest beer, food specials, alphorns and accordians. Ceremonial Keg tapping on Friday, September 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM. Food includes roast or rotisserie chicken, sausages and pretzels. They have borrowed the concept of the annual poster contest from Munich and do an annual menu cover contest. Each day has its own German theme so be sure to check out the schedule of activities. Strongman night includes a Masskrugstammung contest. Wurst night has sausage specials, sauerkraut and a “brat bar” with a variety of different sausages. Schlager night features German top 40 music from the 1980s and a release of 99 biodegradable balloons. Knot night celebrates the wedding that started the tradition, with everything you need to get married, renew your vows or celebrate your anniversary. Complete the festival with Drain the Keg night, when beer prices start dropping until all the beer is gone. Price drops $.25 per hour in the afternoon and $.50 per hour in the evening. Black Forest Inn is a German restaurant in Minneapolis that opened in 1965. Location: 1 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN
Twin Cities Oktoberfest – Saint Paul, MN – October 9-10, 2015
This Minneapolis-St. Paul Oktoberfest provides two days of live music, dancers, brats and Summit Oktoberfest beer.
Location: Progress Building, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Gasthaus Oktoberfest – Stillwater, MN – September 18-20 and 25-27, 2015
This German restaurant will throw up a huge festival tent with German food, beer and live music. Friday and Saturday admission is $5.00 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Sundays are family days with all ages welcome from noon-6 PM. Activities include free face painting, balloon twister, music, dancing. Be sure to taste the giant pretzels, cinnamon roasted almonds, Hammerschlagen, brats and chops, and of course lots of imported beers.
Location: 8390 Lofton Avenue, Stillwater, MN 55082
Longville Oktoberfest – Longville, MN – September 19, 2015
Downtown Longville will have a German beer garden with music, arts and crafts on Saturday from 11 AM to 2 PM. The Longville Fire Hall will follow from 5-11 PM with its Oktoberfest Dinner Dance. Enjoy Friday nights karaoke entertainment and dinner specials at the Anchorage Inn. The theme is “Fall Has It All”.
Location: Downtown Longville and the Longville Fire Hall.
Ruttgers Oktoberfest – Deerwood, MN – October 16-18, 2015 (tentative)
The 30th Annual Oktoberfest will have dinner shows, arts & crafts fair, kids activities and polka dancing. The tentative schedule has a harvest buffet dinner show with live music by the Concord Singers and Alpensterne. Saturday and Sunday both start off with a breakfast buffet. On Saturday, over 150 vendors will take part in the Arts & Crafts Fair. Live music and entertainment will happen in two tents and there will be children’s activities in the Kids’ Kamp building. Eat dinner at the buffet featuring German music and end the evening with a free admission polka dance. Held at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge, which has been inviting guests to the lake and their resort for five generations of the Ruttger family since it opened in 1898.
St. Paul Oktoberfest – St. Paul, MN – September 18-19, 2015
The 15th Annual Saint Paul Oktoberfest will have German and American beer, live music, polish dancers, dachshund races, bed races, Paulaner Girls and children’s games.
Location: Klub Haus, 1079 Rice Street, Saint Paul, MN 55117
Padelford Riverboats – Harriet Island, St. Paul
They hold a four hour cruise up the Mississippi River into Minneapolis and back with authentic German lunch, Polka and Hammerschlagen. Lunch includes various sausages, spinach apple salad, roasted potato wedges, pretzel bites, German chocolate cake and more. According to their calendar, it will be held on Friday, September 26th, 2015 and every Saturday in October. Advance reservations are required. The cost is $43 per person.
New Ulm Oktoberfest – New Ulm, MN – October 2-3 & 9-10, 2015
The 34th Annual Minnesota Oktoberfest will take place at four locations in New Ulm on the first two weekends in October. The four locations are the Holiday Inn New Ulm, Downtown New Ulm, Morgan Creek Vineyards and Schell’s Brewery. This has been ranked one of the top 25 events in Minnesota for many years. The Holiday Inn (now a Best Western?) has two indoor band stage areas with German-style polka and bands playing party favorites for dancing. Downtown activities include horse-drawn trolley rides, hometown bands and tours of various buildings including the John Lind House, Hermann Monument, Schell’s Brewery and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. Don’t miss the 45 foot Musical Glockenspiel which is setup in the downtown area. Morgan Creek Vineyards generally has a Grape Stomp on the first Saturday of the festival.
Gasthof – Minneapolis, MN – Weekends, September 18th to Oct 10, 2015
A Bavarian bar and eatery in Northeast Minneapolis that pitches a massive tent and brings in the picnic tables for a celebration of Germany. They’ll have traditional German beer like Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Spaten and Warsteiner. Food options include brats, smoked pork chops, BBQ ribs, german potato salad, sauerkraut, soft pretzels and apfelstrudel. There will be live polka music and dancing, too. No cover charge. Bring your own beer mug or buy one of their 1/2 liter mugs. Tokens are $6. Location: 2300 University Ave NE Minneapolis, MN 55418
Frazee Community Center Oktoberfest – Frazee, MN – October 5, 2014
Live music, cash bar and German food hosted by the Frazee Area Community Club with proceeds used for community events. 2014 will be the 18th annual event. Admission in 2013 was $10 per person. Live music was played by Leon Olsen Band from New Ulm and Marie and the Boys from Avon. It happens annually on the first Sunday in October and is held at the Frazee Event Center.
Minneapolis Munich Beer Fest – Minneapolis, MN – September 26-27, 2014
12 Breweries are participating in the 2nd Annual event at New Bohemia with games, music and beer. Tickets are $40 with action getting started on Friday at 6:00 pm and Saturday at noon. Activities include beer pong, weiner dog keg pull, stein hosting, and keg bowling.
Location: 233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN
Oktoberfest Duluth – Duluth, MN – September 19-20, 2014
The 4th Annual Duluth Oktoberfest on Friday and Saturday will have polka music and games like the Hammerschlagen, stein holding contest, beer pong, sauerkraut eating race and boot chug contest.
Location: Tycoons Alehouse, 132 E Superior Street, Duluth, MN
Roma Oktoberfest – 460 Stillwater Road, MN 55090 – September 13-14, 2013
Local festival held at Roma restaurant for the 4th year. Features music, karoke, beer garden, food, games, and prizes. Tickets are $5.
You decide you want to party amidst a large number of people, here is the list of the largest Oktoberfest festivals in the United States. And if you want to see what is happening in surrounding states, take a look at Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
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 Minnesota in October: