It's Oktoberfest Season

9/5/2018 - Katrina Neveri

Oktoberfest Season in Kenosha, WI

One of my favorite things about the summer-fall transition in Wisconsin is the number of Oktoberfest events held around the state. Thanks to our state’s robust German population and heritage, there’s something extra authentic about Oktoberfest celebrations around here. From our awesome craft beer culture to our local cheese and sausages, we’re perfectly set up to celebrate all things Oktoberfest. So, of course, the Kenosha Area is a great example of how Wisconsin celebrates the start of the fall season ― with live music, good beer, traditional German cuisine and fun events!

Kicking off the festivities this Saturday is the 8thAnnual Old Settlers Park Oktoberfest and 5K race. Registration for the race starts at 9 am, with the race beginning at 10:30 am. Beer, wine and food tents open at noon, with live music throughout the day from Brew Haus Polka Kings, Ed Wagner Brass Band, and the Alphorn Players. As with previous years, admission is free and events include the classic car show (12-4 pm), German D’Oberlanders dancers (at 2, 3, 5 and 6 pm), and the Dachshund Dash (pet registration at noon, race at 1 pm). Throughout the day there will be kid’s games and a bounce house (12-5 pm), as well as kid’s tractor rides (12-2 pm), and a raffle drawing at 7 pm, with proceeds from this year’s festival going to fund the construction of a band shelter at the park. It’s sure to be a great time and is the first of many Oktoberfest events of the season.

German restaurant and historic Kenosha staple, House of Gerhard, is hosting its annual Oktoberfest September 14-16. There will be live music and traditional German dinner specials will be served all weekend. They set up a huge tent in the area that is their outdoor Biergarten dining space to accommodate all the guests at this event. Pro road trip tip: the locals refer to this place as “the best prime rib in town,” so it’s a must-try if you’re not from the area. Everything on the menu is delicious, though! Gerhard’s has always been one of my favorite places to dine in Kenosha. This year will be my first time stopping by during Oktoberfest and I can’t wait to try one of the specials! Rumor has it that the Rudin Family (owners of House of Gerhard) truly make everyone feel like they are a little bit German during the festivities.

Mason’s Eatery & Pub is hosting its first Oktoberfest September 15-16, kicking things off with a Ceremonial Keg tapping of Hacker-Pschorr, a southern Bavarian beer and German staple for Oktoberfest in Munich. If you haven’t been to Mason’s before, the first thing you should know is they have a large selection of beers on tap! There will be 8 varieties of German beers for the Oktoberfest event, with two varieties of sausage and other traditional German dishes. On Saturday there will be live music from 3-9 pm, including a polka band that starts at 6 pm. On Sunday the Cole Garcia Band performs 4-7 pm. Admission is free and the tent opens at 11 am.

September 21-23 is the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at the Petrifying Springs Biergarten. There will be over 6 beer varieties from Munich, as well as local craft beers. The Southport Polka Band plays 6-9 pm on Friday. On Saturday at noon there’s the Ceremonial Keg tapping with County Executive Jim Kreuser. From 1-3 pm the fun Bavarian games kick-off, including barrel rolling, stein hoisting and stein racing. The live music starts at 3 pm with The Edelweiss Band and continues with Die Musikmeisters 6-9 pm. Food includes Bavarian pretzels, bratwursts, roasted corn, and Tramper’s Pizza food truck.

Pete's Union Park Tavern is hosting their 2nd Annual Oktoberfest this year and it is a popular one! The MGV Harmonia German Male Chorus is a partner in the event - so expect bratwurst, tradition German music, and a lot of fun. There will even be Dachshund Racing and a crowing of Miss Oktoberfest! The real treat will be Sunday morning at 9 a.m. when the MGV men prepare a German Bauernfrühstük (farmers' breaffast) in the "Backyard" at the Tavern!

Saturday, September 29 is the Kemper Center’s Oktoberfest fundraising event. Gates open at 4 pm, with live music from Dorf Kapelle and The Hungry Five 6-10 pm. Tickets are $12 at the gate, or you can buy them in advance on their website or at the Kemper Center’s office. 7 German beers will be served, as well as one American beer. Food and drink tickets will be available for purchase―with the food selection including bratwursts, knackwursts, German potato salad, red cabbage, pretzels, apple and cherry strudel, and an authentic black forest torte.

Waterfront Warehouse is also hosting an Oktoberfest event on September 29. Guests will enjoy a large tented celebration presented by the One Barrel and O'so Brewing. Live music, beer brats, and beer samples will be plentiful. Different ticket price points are available, offering VIP ticket holders early entry, food vouchers, and exclusive beer samples.  

It’s pretty epic to think all of this drinking and eating was made possible by a wedding that happened more than 200 years ago. I’ll have to toast to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen while I’m out enjoying the festivities!

Community Blog Team 2018

Katrina Neveri

Community Blogger

Digital Marketer and UX designer. Cool mom to a rambunctious toddler. Road trip explorer. Pinterest addict; lover of all things handmade and DIY.