Expect barrels of fun at area festivals honoring German culture.
Willkommen, y’all, to Oktoberfest season. The original Oktoberfest in Munich is canceled this year, but D-FW events celebrating the folk festival are still on. Expect beer, traditional German foods, music and activities at these North Texas fests.
There is live music, dancing, family-friendly activities, an artisan market and, of course, more than 20 craft beer offerings at this huge annual event. Expect dozens of polka bands and other traditional entertainers from across the country performing on multiple stages throughout the event. Feeling competitive? There are multiple contests, from stein carrying and “Masskrugstemmen” stein hoisting to beer bingo and dachshund racing. Food offerings include authentic German foods and desserts like brats and strudel, as well as traditional American favorites like corndogs and tacos. The Draught Haus Biergarten will have top college and pro games on the outdoor big screen, and the Kleinhalle features a selection of small bites and beer and wine options. Coronavirus protocols include a new Partyhalle, which will feature an open-air tent with tables spread apart. There are also enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures, plus a new layout to promote social distancing. Face coverings are strongly recommended for everyone not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Through Sept. 19 at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle, Addison. $10 per day Sept. 17 and 18; free admission Sept. 19; free every day for ages 9 and younger.
The 2021 event features authentic German bier, live music, dancing, games, carnival rides, shopping and multiple biergartens. The Tapping of Zie Kegs opening ceremony on Sept. 23 will start the fest off with a bang — local leaders will tap the first kegs of Spaten Halle by hammering a bronze spout into the kegs with a wooden mallet. Traditional dishes for sale include schnitzel, sausage, potato salad, Bavarian soft pretzels, strudel, roasted nuts, potato pancakes and kasebrot (cheese board). Fair food favorites are also available on the midway. Feeling like a sit-down dinner? Dine in the air-conditioned Reata Haus, where you can eat authentic German cuisine and order a glass of wine. Take part in the Run und Ride, featuring a 20-mile bike ride and 5K race. Other competitions include the bier barrel-rolling race, the Dachshund Dash, stein carrying and hoisting, and Oktoberfest Olympics, featuring nonprofit community groups competing for gold.
Sept. 23-25 at Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St., Fort Worth. $5-$10 per day; $15 for a three-day pass; kids under 12 get in free with a paying adult. Purchase tickets online by Sept. 22 to receive a free commemorative stein.
Pegasus City Brewery, Mountain Natives and Cool Side of Easy host this first-time family- and dog-friendly event featuring live music, food and artisan vendors, games, contests and specialty beers.
Sept. 24-26 at Pegasus City Brewery, 1508 Commerce St., Dallas. Free.
The three-day festival features polka bands and live entertainers on three stages, beer and wine, authentic food like brats and schnitzel, shopping at the Marktplatz, a brat eating competition on Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. and the 14th annual wienie dogs races on Sept. 25 from 2 to 5 p.m. The annual keg tapping will take place Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Prost Stage, and the Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen stein holding competition is set for Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Concession tickets can be purchased online for food, beer and activities before the festival. Beginning Sept. 25, concession tickets can be purchased at McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., and Market Street, 6100 W. Eldorado Parkway.
Sept. 24-26 at 111 N. Tennessee St. in historic downtown McKinney. Free admission.
The fourth annual event will feature live polka music all day from the Jodie Mikula Orchestra, Brave Combo, and Czech and Then Some. The Stein Olympics will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and there will be German beer and food for purchase. Each ticket purchase enters you in a contest for a year of free brats from Degenhardt’s Brat Haus.
Sept. 25 from noon to 10 p.m. at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. $15 admission includes first-come, first-served seating in the Box Garden.
Exchange Club of Lake Highlands’ 10th annual family-friendly fall event, held just north of White Rock Lake, features live music by local acts Son Volt, Vandoliers and Taylor Dunn, a kids zone and tasty foods from area restaurants. Participating eateries include Kuby’s Sausage House and European Market, Dog Haus, Cedar and Vine, Shady’s Burgers and Brewhaha, Sugarfire Smoke House, Urban Crust, Bahama Buck’s Original Shaved Ice, Pokey O’s Cookies and Ice Cream, and Bondi Bowls. The event also features performances by the Lake Highlands High School Highlandettes dance team, cheer squad and Wranglers country-western dance and stunt team. The food court area will be spaced out to avoid congestion, and additional hand-washing stations will be available throughout the venue. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. Parking is available at Norbuck Park, Lake Highlands Church and Lake Highlands High School with shuttles running all day.
Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Flag Pole Hill Park, 8105 Doran Circle, Dallas. $15 before 4 p.m., $20 after 4 p.m.; kids 4-12 get in for $10 all day; kids 3 and younger get in free.
The festivities kick off with a traditional keg tapping ceremony — early arrivals to the festival will get a free beer until the keg is tapped out. Two stages will host live musical performances each day. Competitions include the Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest couple’s costume contest, bier stein hoisting and races, brat eating and keg rolling. Beers on tap include Shiner, Altstadt, Rahr, Samuel Adams and Trinity Cider. Traditional German and American foods will be available for purchase.
Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 3 from noon to 5 p.m. at Frisco Square, Dallas North Tollway and Main Street, Frisco. $20, includes a sheet of 20 tickets redeemable for food and drinks.
Go Oak Cliff is hosting its first beer-themed fall event that kicks off with a 1.128-mile fun run around the venue with beer samples for race participants. The post-race party features food, polka music and local beer in an Oktoberfest-style tent. Festival tickets include a 12-ounce beer stein and two drink tokens.
Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tyler Station, 1300 S. Polk St., Dallas. $25 event admission; $25 race registration.
This all-day fest in the heart of a small town opens with a keg-tapping ceremony and a toast. There’ll be a stein holding contest and a beer pong tournament in the Biergarten, German food and other treats, indoor and outdoor shopping, a costume contest, the Dachshund Derby and live music by various performers. Children can check out the kids zone and participate in pumpkin and cookie kit decorating sessions throughout the day. Want to skip the $5 admission fee? Festivalgoers wearing a traditional German lederhosen or dirndl costume will get in for free.
Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the downtown square, 142 N. Ohio St., Celina. $5; free admission for kids 12 and younger. Free parking and shuttles will be available at Brookshire’s Food and Pharmacy Celina and Celina High School.
Dogs and their owners can enjoy this annual free festival hosted by the Richardson Parks and Recreation Department as part of the Huffhines Art Trails arts festival (set for Oct. 16-17). Spend a day in the park with your pup and friends. Sip craft beer, purchase snacks, listen to live music on two stages and shop crafts, pottery, art, jewelry and more from local artisans and vendors. There will also be a dog costume contest.
Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Huffhines Park, 300 N. Plano Road, Richardson. Free admission and parking; $15-$20 for packages with a 20-ounce beer mug, a beer ticket and $1 off all beer refills, a dog bandana and treats.
Before last year’s hiatus due to the coronavirus, this fall event routinely drew more than 100,000 people. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, which features food, drinks, artisan vendors and music. Registration ($20) for the wiener dog costume contest and race are still open.
Oct. 15-17 at Southlake Town Square, 285 Grand Ave. Free admission. Free parking and a shuttle will be available from White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, 185 S. White Chapel Blvd., Southlake.
Special contributor Anna Caplan contributed to this report.