Funtober OktoberfestUnited States

Oktoberfest in Nebraska

I’ve found five festivals of Oktoberfest in Nebraska. That’s an embarrassingly low number for a state where more than 40% of the population claims German heritage. Did I miss the celebrations? Or do you just not like German beer anymore? Here are the Nebraska Oktoberfest celebrations that I’ve found:

2014 Events

German-American Society Oktoberfest – Omaha, NE – September 19-20, 2014
The German-American Society of Omaha, Nebraska hosts an annual Oktoberfest weekend with German food, beer (as well as drinking contest), ceremonial tapping of the keg, live music, dancing, arcade games and face painting for kids. Admission is $5 for adults. Active Military Personnel with valid identification and kids 12 and under are free. Location: 3717 South 120th Street, Omaha, NE 68144

Norfolk Oktoberfest – Norfolk, NE – September 26-27, 2014
The Lions Club parade and the Riverpoint Arts Festival have been joined with the Oktoberfest Family Festival to make a weekend of fun. The parade travels through downtown Norfolk, and the arts festival is in Johnson Park. The Oktoberfest celebration will have live music, traditional German food and even a specially brewed Oktoberfest beer just for the event. The music will be setup in the parking lot behind the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce building at Seventh Street and Norfolk Avenue. On Friday evening, they will have the keg tapping at 5:30 PM. The Foreigner concert will start at 7 PM with tickets priced between $35 and $45. Foreigner is a British-American rock band formed in 1976 that has sold more than 80 million records internationally with hits like “I Want to Know What Love is”. The beer pong tournament, Ms. Oktoberfest and Mr. Oktoberfest are also on Friday evening. Saturday brings the Lions Club parade at 10 AM, home brewers presentation, beer pong tournament, 13.5 mile fun bike ride at 3 PM and brat eating contest at 6 PM. Kids zone Saturday afternoon from 3-7 PM will have games, inflatables and root beer floats.

Huber-Haus Oktoberfest – Omaha, NE – September 26-27, 2014
This is an authentic German beer bar with Bavarian pub food that throws an Omaha Oktoberfest. It hosts a two day family friendly Oktoberfest celebration with ceremonial keg tapping, live German music, German beers on tap and German food. Bands will include The Barry Boyce Band on Friday and Saturday and Bobby “Z” and Polka Joy on Saturday. Beer on tap from Hofbrau, Spaten, Warsteiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr and Weihenstephaner. Food will include brats, chicken schnitzel, pretzels, desserts and more. 2014 will be their 13th annual festival. Admission is free. Location: 36th & Farnam Street, Omaha, NE

Sidney’s Oktoberfest – Sidney, NE – October 3-5, 2014
A three day festival with beer, food, live bands and entertainment, parade, craft show, and Running of the Wiener’s Dog Races. It is held annually on the first full weekend in October and is one of the most popular festivals in Western Nebraska. There’s even a custom auto show with Friday as cruising night. The Rod and Roll show is held on Saturday in Legion Park at the baseball field. The Denver Pipe Band will perform Friday and Saturday night. Typically starts with keg tapping Friday at noon. Dances are held on both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday starts with a parade at 10 AM featuring antique cars, community floats, clowns and marching bands. A high school band competition is held Saturday afternoon at the Sidney High School football field. Horseshoe tournament and dachsund races are held on Sunday. Location: Sidney Nebraska Fairgrounds, 10955 Hwy 30, Sidney, NE 69162

Kearney Oktoberfest – October 4, 2014
Keg tapping, live music, games and food. Sponsored by the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.
Location: Buffalo County Fairgrounds

Lucky Bucket Brewing Company – La Vista, NE – September 12, 2014
The Lucky Bucket Brewing Company hosts their Oktoberfest from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Get your $7 ticket before September 1st and get a beer ticket and commemorative Oktoberfest stein.  Tickets are $5 at the door.  Beers available for $4 are Lucky Bucket’s Lager, Wheat, IPA, Evil, Big Pimpkin and Oktoberfest.  Great foods so enjoy brats, sauerkraut, burgers, pulled pork, pretzels, and beer cheese.  The Barry Boyce Polka Band starts the fun and plays live all night.  Best German costume wins a prize.  Location:  11941 Centennial Drive, La Vista, NE.

Gerda’s German Restaurant and Bakery Oktoberfest – Omaha, NE – September 5-6, 2014
Just heard about this Oktoberfest from a reader who says it has been going on for ten years and has a solid turnout. I am told their roast chicken is the best around.  Gerda’s is one of the city’s finest restaurant.  Again this year the popular Dave Salmons Polka Band provides the  entertainment.  They have played this event for close to 15 years.  The Oktoberfest runs from 5 PM to Midnight.  They go all out with two big tents, music, great beers and foods including big ham shanks, German brats, saukerkraut, spaetzle, and pretzels.
Location: 5180 Leavenworth St, Omaha, NE 68106

Okto Beerfest – Lincoln – October 9, 2014
Celebrate their 21st year on October 9, 2014 with over 200 different beers from around the world, food from 20 to 30 top area restaurants and caterers, live auction and music featuring bag pipers and the Wilber Alumni Czech band.
Location: Lancaster Event Center

Past Events

 

We have just added these maps with the locations of each Oktoberfest. We may not have had the exact location for each Oktoberfest so in some instances we have placed the marker in the general vicinity of the Oktoberfest. Be sure to get specific directions from another source and do not solely rely on our map at the moment. We have also noticed that the markers may not show up on some mobile browsers. We will work to sort out this bug in the future.

Please confirm dates, locations and activities available at the Oktoberfest before going. That’s one reason that we provide a website address when we find one. We attempt to ensure that the information for each Oktoberfest is accurate but there are bound to be a few errors. If you let us know when you find one, we will fix it. In some cases, we may link to the 2012 event when information for 2013 is not available. Do not be fooled.

The festivals listed range in size. Some events may have hundreds of thousands of attendees. Others may have only a handful. We’re sorry that we don’t have more information about attendance numbers at the moment. We will do our best to add this information as time goes on.

Professionalism varies as well. Some Oktoberfests are professional operations with large budgets. Others are local operations run by volunteers. Do your due diligence before making plans to attend so that you know what to expect. We will happily publish information about your experience with any Oktoberfest so that our visitors will be better informed in the future.

Some Oktoberfests are more family friendly than others. If you have small children, look for an Oktoberfest that has activities for kids. Other events start out with family friendly activities and become more adult oriented as it becomes later in the evening.

Not all Oktoberfest celebrations will be authentic German festival experiences. Some may simply be an excuse to drink rather than celebrate German heritage. Some may call themselves Oktoberfest but provide local or seasonal beer rather than authentic German Oktoberfest beer. Be sure to consider the type of celebration that you are looking to attend when you pick your Oktoberfest.

Activities offered at each Oktoberfest varies. Some activities that you may find are parades, keg tapping ceremony, beer gardens, Miss Oktoberfest or costume contests, stein holding contests, bratwurst eating contest, chicken dance, wiener races, keg toss, live German bands and local entertainment, polka dancing and fairground games. Some Oktoberfest events will just have beer and brats.

Please don’t drink and drive. We want everyone to get home safe. Use a designated driver or take public transportation.

Do you run one of the Oktoberfests listed? Feel free to send us additional information and we will add it. We apologize for any errors: send us corrections when you find them!

If you are looking for bigger parties, you might try the list of the largest Oktoberfests in the United States. For more Oktoberfest festivals, look at the following surrounding states for more parties: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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 Nebraska in October:

Nebraska Festivals
Nebraska Corn Mazes
Nebraska Ghost Tours
Haunted Houses in Nebraska
Pumpkin Patches in Nebraska

2 COMMENTS

  1. Norfolk Oktoberfest Family Festival will be held Friday Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 23 in Downtown Norfolk, Nebraska. Two popular fall events, the Lions Club parade, and the Riverpoint Arts Festival, will fall under the umbrella of the Oktoberfest Family Festival, but they will maintain their individual names and traditions. The parade travels through downtown Norfolk, and the arts festival is in Johnson Park.

    A special “Oktoberfest” beer will be brewed just for this event! Traditional German and contemporary bands will perform under a tent set up on the parking lot behind the Norfolk Are Chamber of Commerce building at Seventh Street and Norfolk Avenue. Food vendors will, serve authentic German foods. An inflatable midway will be available for children.

    Norfolk’s Oktoberfest: Celebrating German Heritage and the Fall Harvest

    Norfolk’s beginning lies in Germany. In the 1850s, a number of German families decided to leave their native land for new life and freedom in America, seeking out the Upper Midwest for its promise of fertile farmlands. In 1865, a group of German Lutheran families, having stopped first in Wisconsin, looked westward for a permanent home.

    Just months after the Civil War ended, they settled upon the “North Fork” of the Elkhorn River – modern-day Norfolk. They made homes, built churches and schools, farmed the land, and celebrated the many blessings of their new homeland. Today we renew and continue the celebration, honoring our German immigrant heritage and celebrating – as our ancestors did not so long ago – the many fruits of the fall harvest. We invite you to enjoy Norfolk’s inaugural Oktoberfest Family Festival September 21 and 22 in the heart of downtown Norfolk.

    Join us!

  2. The best Oktobeerfest in Nebraska is held each October in Lincoln, NE at the Lancaster County Convention Center 84th and Havelock Avenue to benefit the Nebraska Stroke Association. This year the 21st Oktobeerfest will be Thursday Oct 9th. Last year it featured over 200 beers from all over the world, Bagpipers, Wilbur Czech Alumni band, and much more entertainment. Food sampling included in the price from over 25 top area restaurants and caters. Great auction, free ride home, and much more. See why brewers and beer drinkers agree this is a very special event not to be missed. Over a 1,000 people attended the 2013 event and all enjoyed a fantastic festival.

Leave a Reply