Call me an Oktoberfest snob, but I believe it takes more than beer and pretzels to make a great Oktoberfest. This year, Loveland Oktoberfest, held at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, has many of the right ingredients to be called the best Oktoberfest in Northern Colorado.
Of course, it’s about the bier
First of all, Oktoberfest is about good beer and Loveland’s festival will feature six of the city’s award winning breweries, and for fun, they’ve invited Wibby from down the road in Longmont. In addition to Grimm and Wibby, breweries in attendance are Verboten, Loveland Aleworks, Crow Hop, Big Beaver, Buckhorn Brewers and Big Thompson.
New this year is the Baron Berliner Bar, which will feature Grimm’s traditional Berlinerweisse called The Baron, with multiple flavored syrups available for festival goers to create their own Berliner experience.
It’s about the music
Second of all, Oktoberfest is about German music. I am super excited that this year, not only will Loveland Oktoberfest feature two authentic polka bands, Neue Polka Colorado and Polka Folka, but also DJ KAAOS.
Just like at Oktoberfest at Munich, DJ KAAOS will spin all sorts of German music including Die Fantastischen Vier, Rammstein, Jurgen Birlinger and much more. This is one of the most unique things happening at Loveland Oktoberfest and I can’t wait.
It’s about the food
This year’s Loveland Oktoberfest will feature pretzels from Styria Bakery (these are the real deal, folks), pastries from Sweet European Treats (Mayor approved) and the Colorado Candy Company is making something special just for the fest. In addition, authentic German cuisine will be catered for the event. No one will go hungry at Loveland Oktoberfest.
It’s about the games & ambiance
Come in your best German garb and participate in the Best Dressed Costume contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. Other contests will be held during the fest including a Stein Hoisting event and a Hammerschlagen tournament to benefit Kiwanis (the champion wins free beer for a year).
Several local university German Clubs will be on hand to help you practice a little Deutsch, the official language of Germany and Austria, and one of the three official languages of Switzerland.
Party like a barbarian on Thursday
The kick off to Loveland Oktoberfest is the Barbarian Dinner on Thursday, September 14. This is like no other beer dinner you’ve ever attended (I guarantee). While Loveland Oktoberfest is free to attend, Barbarian Dinner is a ticketed event. Learn more & purchase tickets here.
Loveland Oktoberfest is 100% family-friendly. There will be activities for the bigs and littles, so grab grandma and the kiddos and make your way to Loveland, Colorado this September.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (click for map)
Friday, September 15 | 4 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, September 16 | 12 to 9 p.m.
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This is not the first time I’ve mentioned the Greeley Oktoberfest on HeidiTown, and long before they became an advertiser here, I thought this was one of the best Oktoberfest in Colorado. One of the reasons this fest is so successful is that the entire Greeley community is invested and comes out to the party.
This year’s fest runs Friday, September 28 through Saturday, the 29th.
Greeley Oktoberfest is a signature event in Northern Colorado, and there are lots of reasons why. Admission is free and families can come and stay all day without anyone getting bored.
There’s a full lineup of entertainment for all ages, including the always popular beer pong with giant balls and buckets. It’s a hoot and Ryan and I totally got addicted to it when we played.
This is a huge festival and it takes up nearly all of Lincoln Park in the heart of historic, downtown Greeley.
The event kicks off Friday evening, September 28, at 5:30 p.m. with the Tom Allan Grengs Polka Band. From 7:30 to 10 p.m. BeatGrass, a bluegrass band with a twist, takes the stage.
On Saturday, September 29, the festival gets underway at 11 a.m. with the Children’s Chorale, followed by the Mayor’s Proclamation at 11:45 a.m.
The rest of the day’s entertainment includes UNC Jazz, Vokstanzgruppe, Kyle Redman and Ronnie Ekhart and the Dutch Hop Makers.
New this year, a VIP Beer Tasting Tent open on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors to the tent receive a commemorative tasting glass, get to sample reserve beers and meet and greet professional brewers. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased on the day of the event.
Lincoln Park provides the ideal setting for the event, and the best part of Greeley Oktoberfest is the ambiance. I write a lot about what makes a good festival and this Oktoberfest ticks all the boxes.
Head out to Greeley next weekend for a beer, a brat and a little polka – you won’t be disappointed.
For the past several weeks I’ve done a lot of chatting about Oktoberfests, and this is because I think, when done right, they are such fun and unique festivals.
There are two Oktoberfests fast approaching that I want to bring to your attention. You will not find an eighties cover band headlining these fests, because both work to provide authentic Oktoberfest experiences that embrace and emphasize Northern Colorado’s rich German heritage.
Last year I attended the Greeley Oktoberfest for the first time, and was impressed. It’s a large event, occurring over two days. This year, the festival runs this weekend, September 23-24, 2011.
Read all about the Greeley Oktoberfest here.
The 1st Annual Berthoud Oktoberfest is being held October 1, in the darling town of Berthoud, Colorado. Located just 40 minutes from Denver and just 10 minutes south of Loveland, Berthoud is steeped in German heritage.
Read all about the Berthoud Oktoberfest here.
The Mayor of HeidiTown loves a good Oktoberfest, so I’ve created a list of all the festivals around Colorado.
From Durango to Berthoud, from Steamboat Springs to Lamar, all across the state Coloradoans will be celebrating German heritage with beer, brats and polka. Festivals run September though October.
Find out where to join in the fun by clicking here for the entire list. Prost!
September is in full swing and so are Colorado Oktoberfest celebrations. Some have already occurred, but here are a few festivals where you can practice your chicken dance and drink beer from a giant mug. Don’t forget the lederhosen!
Oktoberfest Denver, September 17-19 and 24-26: This will be the 41st year for this Oktoberfest that was named one of the best festivals in the nation by USA Today. It also holds the record for being one of the largest Oktoberfests in the country. Thousands come out for this festival that is modeled after Munich, Germany’s famous Oktoberfest.
Like many cities across the United States Denver boasts a strong German heritage with many of the city’s first bars being open by German immigrants. Oktoberfest Denver includes live music, a 5K race, a Kid Carnival, Oktoberfest Olympics, a dog derby, costume contest and, of course, lots of beer. This year’s beer sponsor is Sam Adams. Admission to this event is free. For a full schedule visit www.OktoberfestDenver.com.
16th Annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest, September 17-19: Unlike some of the other Oktoberfest, this festival features authentic German Paulaner beer, one of my favorites. The festival is held on picturesque Main Street, with traditional costumes, German food, Oompa and polka music, Bavarian dancers, children’s activities, a keg-tapping ceremony, a 5K run and more. Admission to Breckenridge Oktoberfest cost $5. For more information visit www.GoBreck.com.
Greeley’s Oktoberfest 2010, September 24-25: I have it on good authority (an accordion player) that this is an awesome small town Oktoberfest. Greeley, Colorado is steeped in German heritage, and the town has been celebrating Oktoberfest since 1971.
The festival is held in historic Lincoln Park and features everything from polka music to a rye bread bakeoff. In addition there will be a brat toss, a beer barrel roll race, and even a life size beer pong tournament (this I have to see).
Admission is free to Greeley’s Oktoberfest. Bring the entire family and enjoy a day of the live music, dancing, beer and yummy German food. For a schedule visit downtown Greeley online.
If you need to brush up on your Chicken Dance skills, here’s a little instructional video from the Lawrence Welk Show:
Coloradoans likes beer. We have a lot of breweries. In fact, we produce more beer here than in any other state. Not surprisingly towns across Colorado embrace Oktoberfest.
The real Oktoberfest is held each year in Munich, Germany, where Germans and tourist alike consume 1.5 million gallons of beer during the 16-day event. The event starts in September and usually last into the first part of October.
The tradition was started in 1810, to celebrate the October 12th marriage of a royal German couple. This festival was focused around a horse race, not beer. Each year the anniversary of the original event was celebrated and each year it got a little bigger.
Eventually the start date of the festival was moved forward to September in order to provide better weather for the partygoers. The introduction of beer to the festival started sometime in the late 1800s when the city began allowing beer stands on festival grounds. These small white tents under eventually evolved into the large white tents we associate with Oktoberfest in Munich today.
During the month of September, Coloradoans have quite a few Oktoberfest festivals to choose from. The two largest are the Breckenridge Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest Denver.
The year’s Breckenridge Oktoberfest runs September 19-20. It’s the town’s 15th annual Oktoberfest. The picturesque mountain community shuts down Main Street for the event, which includes German food, polka music, dancing, and of course, lots and lots of beer. For more information visit GoBreck.
Oktoberfest Denver occupies two weekends in September, 18-20 and 25-27. It is one of the city’s longest running festivals, 40 years, and also one of the largest Oktoberfests in the country. To learn more visit www.OktoberfestDenver.com.
Many smaller communities across the state are also celebrating.
Greeley is celebrating their 38th Annual Oktoberfest on September 26, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Historic Lincoln Park.
Fort Collins will celebrate the same day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Center Park.
Longmont will celebrate September 11-13 at Roosevelt Park.
I’m sure there are many Oktoberfest around the state I haven’t mentioned. If your town has an Oktoberfest, tell HeidiTown all about it!
And last, but not least, all these festivals are free!