I know that by now you guys are fully aware of the fact that I love the month of September.
Yes, a little bit (okay, a lot) because it is my birthday month, but also because it is the start of fall, which means so many fun things going on!
Temps are cooler, but not so cold that you can’t be outside enjoying the fall with friends. Football season returns to us (YAS!!), and so does the time of year where having a nice dark nutty beer sounds appealing.
Which leads me to my next point, that September is the start of Oktoberfest season here in the Northwest!
I have lived here 13 years now, and the Oktoberfest scene has progressively gotten a LOT better over the years. I am talking beer gardens, drunken races & games, imported beer, lederhosen… the full meal deal. So, if you are in the Northwest, here are 4 Oktoberfest celebrations I absolutely suggest you check out!
1. East Ballard Oktoberfest – September 16th 2017
This is the little baby of Oktoberfests here in the greater Seattle area, only celebrating its thrid year of existence. The lineup however is totally worthwhile, with it being a ‘progressive party’ (that’s fancy for bar crawl guys) and they are featuring a band called the “Oompah Machine”.
Party starts at 1PM at Stoup Brewing. They advertise there will be food at all stops, and the event is kid friendly! Here is a link to the facebook event with more info.
2. Fremont Oktoberfest – September 22nd – 24th 2017
Fremont Oktoberfest is my personal Seattle-area favorite, and my friends and I have attended for many years. The beer lineup is incredible, and there is even an indoor sports bar you can go sample at if temps get too cold.
Sunday is their family AND dog friendly day, and the Seahawks game is even on inside the beer hall! On family day they also feature other fun activities like live pumpkin carving, root beer tasting, and a street scramble. HERE is the link to the FOKT website.
3. Kirkland Oktoberfest – September 22nd – 24th 2017
It is no secret that people who live in Seattle never go to the east side, and east-siders would rather keep the fun on their side of the lake and stay local to the Bellevue area. Which is why it should be no surprise that Kirkland has their own Oktoberfest the same weekend as Fremont’s! I just view this as an opportunity to try more beer
The Kirkland Oktoberfest has some different kinds of activities like Human Foosball and Stein Races. Be sure to not miss the Sunday Wiener Dog races! Here is the link to Kirkland Oktoberfest.
4. Leavenworth Oktoberfest – September 29-30th, October 6-7th, October 13-14th 2017
This is the mother of all Oktoberfest celebrations in the Northwest… potentially even the United States. I have no grounds to base that off of, other than this is a Bavarian Village that throws a 3-weekend party, and I can’t imagine going bigger than that!!
The whole event takes up several city blocks, there are multiple beer halls, outdoor beer gardens, street food, live music, and more. IT IS HUGE! Every Saturday at noon there is a procession down front street which ends at the festival with a keg tapping at 1pm. Be sure to dress in your German best, because everyone else will be too! If you feel under-dressed do not worry – there is Oktoberfest swag galore, varying from authentic beer steins to das boot necklaces. Minors are allowed until 9pm, but as a parent I would likely start to peel out of there around 5 as the vibe shifts from a fun day festival to a hardcore drinking party at night.
Also, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend staying there, but lodging should be booked FAR in advance (I am talking MONTHS!). If you are trying to attend on last-minute notice, I would reach out to friends, call hotels directly, check craigslist… we have got lucky in the past and found people offering last-minute accommodations!
So there you have it Seattle, the ultimate Oktoberfest guide! If you have any questions about attending any of these events, feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy Oktoberfest season everyone!