Things to Do in Chicago: Oktoberfest

September 9, 2016 | By Lauren Schechtman
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a popular international celebration that occurs in September and October centered around beer and other German delicacies such as bratwurst and pretzels. The holiday originated on October 12, 1810, with a celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. The tradition has been continued in Munich and now stands as the world’s largest beer festival catering to around 6 million people. Celebrations include a large beer hall, carnival rides, and classic German food!

Oktoberfest in Chicago:

German people are ingrained in Chicago’s longstanding history with nearly 15% of Chicago’s popular having some German ancestry. If you can’t stop by one of the following celebrations, check out The Berghoff, a landmark Chicago restaurant that’s been serving German cuisine since 1898. Here are 3 great Oktoberfest celebrations in the Chicagoland area:

Oktoberfest Chicago:

Nominated as one of the ten best Oktoberfest celebrations in the country, Chicago Oktoberfest at St. Alphonsus is an event that shouldn’t be missed. The event kicks off on Thursday, September 22nd with a 5k race. Of course, a beer and a brat are provided at the finish line, and three days of festivities begin from there. Choose from over 40 samples of craft beer that include both German-made brews and other fall-themed beers. A pretzel necklace is provided with admission to serve as a portable snack throughout the day. Tickets for the weekend are $40 and additional beer tickets are available for purchase.

Oak Park Oaktoberfest:

Oaktoberfest in the southwest Chicago suburb, Oak park, features a blend of German tradition with a community focus. The two-day festival running from September 16th to the 17th offers live music performances, craft beer, international food specialties from local restaurants, in addition to a variety of games and animals. This festival is especially family friendly as it features a kid’s root beer tent.

German-American Fest and Parade:

From September 9th-11th, the United German-American Societies of Greater Chicago is celebrating German Day with a festival and parade that includes beer, German food, traditional singing and dancing, and family games! Admission is free each day in Lincoln Square.

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