Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, WA

Oktoberfest In Leavenworth

You've probably heard Leavenworth, Washington described as a "Festival Town." There are over 20 separate festivals throughout the year, celebrating the arts, culture and folklife. One of the most popular of Leavenworth's festivals is Oktoberfest, celebrated for three weekends in October. In 1998 Projekt Bayern was looking for a way to celebrate Leavenworth's affinity with the region of Bavaria and to bridge the gap between the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival in September and the Christmas Lighting Festival in December. An Oktoberfest based on Munich's festival seemed like the perfect way to promote Leavenworth's Old World Bavarian theme and continue to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Leavenworth usually enjoys mild, sunny weather right through to winter.

Munich's Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a wedding party, honoring the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Now Munich's Oktoberfest takes place over 16-18 days and includes October 3, German Unity Day. It's now the world's largest fair, attended by 5 million people annually. It's from Munich's Oktoberfest that Leavenworth gets traditional elements of the festival such as the Parade, Muenchner Kindl, and the Tapping of the Keg. In the Munich festival only beers brewed within the city limits are served. The brews of seven breweries are designated Oktoberfest Bier. It's wonderful celebration of traditional Bavarian culture and is the model for Oktoberfest celebrated in cities all over the world.

Leavenworth's Oktoberfest began modestly with a few tents and had about 400 in attendance. Since that time it's grown to include four venues and includes a Kinderplatz which provides entertainment for children. In 2011, organizers expect 40,000 attendees. On Saturdays the festivities include a parade starting at noon. The parade has a bandwagon with Leavenworth's Musikkapelle, marching Muenchner Kindl, horse drawn wagons including the flower festooned Bierwagon. The parade travels to the Festhalle where Leavenworth's mayor taps the keg, the ceremony that officially begins the festivities.

After the official keg tapping, visit the Oktoberfest where bands from the US and Germany will entertain as you sample beer, domestic and imported. You can also get delicious German brats, chicken and pulled pork. Meals purchased include cole slaw and beans. You can also get German style cake with whipped cream. For non-beer drinkers soft drinks and wine are available as well. You'll also find arts and crafts vendors. Make sure you purchase your Oktoberfest commemorative beer stein early. They usually sell out. Beginning in 2011 a collectors' coffee mug is also available.

The Oktoberfest venues are open on Fridays, 6pm-1am, and Saturdays 12pm-1am. Children are allowed in the venues until 9pm. Tickets are available online or at the venues.

For more on Leavenworth's Oktoberfest, read our 2011 post.

Oktoberfest in Leavenworth
(continued)

There is lots of live music in Leavenworth during Oktoberfest. You can see the schedule in the right column.


New Oktoberfest Layout
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Visiting Leavenworth in October is not only about Oktoberfest, though. On the first weekend of the month there is also a family friendly event at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. The Wenatchee River Salmon Festival is now over 20 years old. This is a cultural and arts festival celebrating the return of the salmon in the fall. It includes hands-on activities and a Native American tribal village.

If you want to join your fellow festival-goers in wearing the traditional Tyrolean style green cap, so popular at Oktoberfest celebrations all over the world, visit the Hat Shop on Front Street. There you'll find hats and caps of all kinds. Yes, we have seen beer-straw caps, too. Other shops in town will provide souvenirs, collectibles, and gift items of every kind.

For other places to sample German food and beer, see our German food page. If you make it your plan to eat meals outside usual meal times, you'll find it easier to get a table at one of the many restaurants serving German food. For casual, authentic atmosphere, Andreas Keller is a great place to sample delicious German food. We love the sausage sampler there. They have several German beers on tap and have German wine, as well.

If you need a break from the German fare of the festival, see the rest of the Eat page for other ideas. You'll find food in Leavenworth for every taste and budget.

Staying in Leavenworth will require reservations. In most cases the reservations need to be made well in advance, some hotels are booked up for a year ahead. Check our Stay page for accommodation ideas, tips and links. A lodging service, like Comfy Cabins, can often provide accommodations closer in to the festival. They handle cabin and condo rentals in and around the Leavenworth area. You'll find a lot of staying options if you make arrangements well in advance of Oktoberfest. Shuttles provide transportation for free throughout the village. Stay at a bed and breakfast, hotel or inn in Leavenworth and make arrangements for the Shuttle to provide safe transport to and from your location. Staying in Leavenworth gives you an opportunity to explore the village shops, restaurants and parks. After breakfast at your hotel or a restaurant, make time to take a walk at Riverfront Park and Blackbird Island.

The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate.

-- Bern Williams

 

Oktoberfest Schedule 2013

Friday, October 4

GAZEBO
11:00-3:00  Bonnie Birch Bavarian Duo
 
FESTHALLE
6:00-7:15  The Beer Barrels
7:30-9:30  S-Bahn
9:45-10:15  Muenchner Kindl
10:30-12:00  Silver Stars
 
BIER STUBE
6:00-8:00  The Gordonairs
8:15-10:45  Muenchner Kindl
9:00-11:00  Happy Hans
 
TANZ HALLE
6:00-8:00  Happy Hans
8:15-10:15  The Beer Barrels
10:30-12:00  S-Bahn
 
SPASS PLATZ
6:00-6:30  Silver Stars
6:45-7:15  Muenchner Kindl
7:30-8:45  Silver Stars
9:00-11:00  The Gordonairs
 

Saturday, October 5

 
FRONT STREET
12:00  Procession down Front Street
1:00  Keg Tapping Ceremony @ Festhalle
GAZEBO
11:00-12:00  AlpenFolk
11:00-9:00  L-Bow the Clown
1:00-3:00  AlpenFolk
FESTHALLE
12:00-1:00  Max Kyllonen
1:00-3:00  Musikkapelle
3:00-4:15  Silver Stars
4:30-5:00  Muenchner Kindl
5:15-7:15  The Gordonairs
7:15-7:45  Edelweiss Tanz Gruppe
7:45-10:00  Oregon Polka Beats
10:15-12:00  The Beer Barrels
 
BIER STUBE
12:00-12:45  Happy Hans
1:00-1:30  Muenchner Kindl
1:45-3:00  Happy Hans
3:00-3:30  Edelweiss Tanz Gruppe
3:30-5:45  Oregon Polka Beats
6:00-7:45  Smilin' Scandinavians
7:45-9:00  S-Bahn
9:15-11:00  The Gordanairs
 
TANZ HALLE
12:00-1:30  The Beer Barrels
1:45-3:00  The Gordonairs
3:15-5:00  Smilin' Scandinavians
5:00-5:30  Edelweiss Tanz Gruppe
5:30-7:15  Happy Hans
7:30-8:00  Muenchner Kindl
8:15-9:45  Silver Stars
10:00-12:00  S-Bahn
 
SPASS PLATZ
12:00-12:45  Smilin' Scandinavians
12:45-1:15  Edelweiss Tanz Gruppe
1:15-2:15  Smilin' Scandinavians
2:30-3:00  Muenchner Kindl
3:15-5:00  S-Bahn
5:15-7:15  Silver Stars
7:30-9:15  The Beer Barrels
9:30-11:00  Happy Hans
 

 

Friday, October 11

GAZEBO
11:00-3:00  Bonnie Birch Bavarian Duo
 
FESTHALLE
6:00-7:15  The Alpin Cats
7:30-9:30  Silver Stars
9:45-10:15  Muenchner Kindl
10:30-12:00  Happy Hans
 
BIER STUBE
6:00-8:00  AlpenBand
8:15-8:45  Muenchner Kindl
9:00-11:00  The Gordonairs
 
TANZ HALLE
6:00-7:45  The Gordonairs
8:00-10:15  The Beer Barrels
10:30-12:00  The Alpin Cats
 
SPASS PLATZ
6:00-6:30  Happy Hans
6:45-7:15  Muenchner Kindl
7:30-8:30  Happy Hans
8:45-11:00  S-Bahn
 

Saturday, October 12

 
FRONT STREET
12:00  Procession down Front Street
1:00  Keg Tapping Ceremony @ Festhalle
GAZEBO
11:00-12:00  AlpenFolk
11:00-9:00  L-Bow the Clown
1:00-3:00  AlpenFolk
FESTHALLE
12:00-1:00  Max Kyllonen
1:00-3:00  Musikkapelle
3:00-4:25  AlpenBand
4:40-5:10  Muenchner Kindl
5:25-6:35  S-Bahn
6:50-8:20  Smilin' Scandinavians
8:35-9:50  The Alpin Cats
9:50-10:20  Tirolean Dancers
10:20-12:00  Happy Hans
 
BIER STUBE
12:00-1:00  Smilin' Scandinavians
1:00-1:30  Tirolean Dancers
1:30-2:50  The Gordonairs
3:05-4:45  The Beer Barrels
5:00-7:00  Happy Hans
7:15-7:45  Muenchner Kindl
8:00-9:30  Silver Stars
9:45-11:00  S-Bahn
 
TANZ HALLE
12:00-1:30  Silver Stars
1:45-3:20  S-Bahn
3:35-5:15  Smilin' Scandinavians
5:15-5:45  Tirolean Dancers
5:45-6:55  The Alpin Cats
7:10-9:05  AlpenBand
9:20-9:50  Muenchner Kindl
10:00-12:00  The Beer Barrels
 
SPASS PLATZ
12:00-1:15  AlpenBand
1:30-2:00  Muenchner Kindl
2:15-4:15  The Alpin Cats
4:30-6:15  Silver Stars
6:30-8:15  The Beer Barrels
8:15-8:45  Tirolean Dancers
8:45-11:00  The Gordonairs
 

 

Friday, October 18

GAZEBO
11:00-3:00  Bonnie Birch Bavarian Duo
 
FESTHALLE
6:00-7:15  Oregon Polka Beats
7:30-9:30nbsp; S-Bahn
9:45-10:15  Muenchner Kindl
10:30-12:00  The Alpin Cats
 
BIER STUBE
6:00-8:00  The Gordonairs
8:15-8:45  Muenchner Kindl
9:00-11:00  Happy Hans
 
TANZ HALLE
6:00-8:00  Happy Hans
8:15-10:15  Oregon Polka Beats
10:30-12:00  S-Bahn
 
SPASS PLATZ
6:00-6:30  The Alpin Cats
6:45-7:15  Muenchner Kindl
7:45-8:45  The Alpin Cats
9:00-11:00  The Gordonairs
 

Saturday, October 19

 
FRONT STREET
12:00  Procession down Front Street
1:00  Keg Tapping Ceremony @ Festhalle
GAZEBO
11:00-12:00  AlpenFolk
11:00-9:00  L-Bow the Clown
1:00-3:00  AlpenFolk
FESTHALLE
12:00-1:00  Max Kyllonen
1:00-3:00  Musikkapelle
3:00-4:15  Oregon Polka Beats
4:30-5:00  Muenchner Kindl
5:15-7:15  The Gordonairs
7:15-7:45  Enzian Schuhplattler
7:45-10:00  Greg Meier Alpine Quartet
10:15-12:00  The Alpin Cats
 
BIER STUBE
12:00-12:45  Happy Hans
1:00-1:30  Muenchner Kindl
1:45-3:00  Happy Hans
3:00-3:30  Enzian Schuhplattler
3:30-5:45  Greg Meier Alpine Quartet
6:00-7:30  Smilin' Scandinavians
7:45-9:00  S-Bahn
9:15-11:00  The Gordanairs
 
TANZ HALLE
12:00-1:30  The Alpin Cats
1:45-3:00  The Gordonairs
3:15-5:00  Smilin' Scandinavians
5:00-5:30  Enzian Schuhplattler
5:30-7:14  Happy Hans
7:30-8:00  Muenchner Kindl
7:15-9:45  Oregon Polka Beats
10:00-12:00  S-Bahn
 
SPASS PLATZ
12:00-12:45  Smilin' Scandinavians
12:45-1:15  Enzian Schuhplattler
1:15-2:15  Smilin' Scandinavians
2:30-3:00  Muenchner Kindl
3:15-5:00  S-Bahn
5:15-7:15  Oregon Polka Beats
7:30-9:15  The Alpin Cats
9:30-11:00  Happy Hans
 

 

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