Colorado has a long history of German settlers and tradition and that means Denver is a great place to be when Oktoberfest rolls around. The parties begin now and continue all month long so you could easily spend every weekend as if you’re in Munich. Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls for a Chicken Dance at a festival near you.
Consider heading to the mountains this September for Oktoberfest Rocky Mountain style. Vail kicks things off this month with Oktoberfest over two weekends from September 9-11 and September 16-18. Enjoy one of the biggest street parties in the mountains with genuine German cuisine, German-themed contests, beer from Hacker-Pschorr, lots of music and dancing and it also happens to be the start of leaf-peeping season in the mountains. There will also be fun activities for the kids. The event and music are free to attend, but food, beer and a Vail Oktoberfest stein can be purchased with tokens. The party will be held on the Bavarian-looking streets of Lionshead. The fun is from 12 to 10 PM Fridays and Saturdays and 12-6 on Sundays. (Lionshead Village, Exit 176, I-70, Vail)
The granddaddy of all Colorado Oktoberfest celebrations is right here in Denver. For the 47th year, Denver Oktoberfest happens over two weekends at 20th and Larimer Street, September 23-25 and September 30-October 2. New this year is the Oktoberfest Happy Hour from 5-7 PM Fridays and 12-2 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Get a 2-for-1 on the official Denver Oktoberfest brew. Enjoy live music and dancing and get in on the festival’s most popular contests, Stein Hoisting, Keg Bowling and the Long Dog Derby. The event is free to enter and food and beverages can be purchased with tickets. Guests can pre-order the commemorative 32 oz. Stein for $37 and get two free beer tickets and skip the lines. Also available in advance are VIP Tickets where guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat food and drink in a special fenced VIP section, get the official Oktoberfest Stein and t-shirt, an authentic German Hat and a wide selection of German and craft brews. See the website for pricing and ordering. Beer sponsors include Spaten, Franziskaner, Shock Top, Stella Cidre, Fireball and the special 47th Denver Oktoberfest specialty brew. (Larimer St. between 20th and 22nd St. a few blocks from Coors Field)
For our northern metro area residents, enjoy the Longmont Oktoberfest sponsored by Left Hand Brewing at Roosevelt Park Friday and Saturday, September 23-24. Enjoy 12 live bands including headliner The Wailers, the world’s legendary reggae band, along with ten local breweries serving up Oktoberfest and fall seasonal beers. Breweries include Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse, 300 Suns, Grossen Bar, Long’s Peak Tap House, Shoes & Brews, Skeye, and Wibby. General admission tickets are $5 per person (food and drink extra) and VIP tickets, which include premium seating, shade, food and beer pairings and private restrooms are $50 for one day and $90 for a two-day pass. Visit the website for the music schedule and to purchase tickets. Doors open at 4 PM on Friday and 11:30 AM on Saturday. (Roosevelt Park,700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont)
Since the Lowry Beer Garden was modeled on a German-style beer hall, it only makes sense for this East Denver party pavilion to host its own Oktoberfest September 15-17. Enjoy the festival in the 4,500 sq. ft. outdoor beer garden. Dance to live music from The Polkanauts, Austrian Connection and The Rhinelanders. There will German food and Odell Brewing is the featured beer provider that weekend. (7577 E. Academy Blvd., Denver)
The 11th annual Parker Oktoberfest will occur Friday-Sunday, September 16-18, at O’Brien Park. Admission is free and the food and beer are pay-as-you-go. There will be a variety of German activities and contests including stein hoisting and German dancing. There is also a kid activities area with rides including an obstacle course, bungee tramp, slide and more. There will be over 90 vendors and a variety of beer from festival sponsor Erdinger Weissbrau, the world’s largest wheat beer brewery. For the second year in a row, guests can also enjoy the Purgatory Weingarten. The fun happens Friday at 6-11 PM, Saturday from 11 AM-11 PM and Sunday from 10 AM-5 PM. Check the website for the full schedule of events. (O’Brien Park, 10795 S. Victorian Dr., Parker)
Join the party in RiNo as the area’s breweries get together to celebrate Oktoberfest. RiNo Oktoberfest will be Saturday, September 24, from 11 AM to 10 PM, at The Rackhouse. Enjoy a taste of Munich in Denver with German food and music, Oktoberfest games and lots of beer. RiNo’s breweries will be on hand to provide their best Oktoberfest and fall seasonal beers. Breweries include Great Divide, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Epic Brewing, C Squared Ciders, Ration Beerworks, Our Mutual Friend, Beryl’s Beer, Black Shirt, Zephyr, Mockery and Stem Ciders. Guess can also bring their own Maß mug or rent one. Tickets are $20 per person and include entrance, a 0.5L mug, one liter of beer and a donation to the RiNo Art District. Tickets can be purchased in advance online. (2875 Blake St., Denver)
Say goodbye to summer with a gathering in one of Denver’s favorite neighborhoods. South Pearl Street will host a party on Saturday, September 24, from 1 to 9 PM. Enjoy Denver’s best beers, brats and music. Admission is free, but food and drink you have to pay for. There will also be competitions in Keg Bowling, Jousting, and Stein Holding. (1500 block of South Pearl St., Denver)
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