Every fall, a transformation happens. As subtle as the changing leaves, Colorado cities and towns morph into Bavaria to celebrate Oktoberfest. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a place nearby for an afternoon of family fun, here is a list of when and where to Oktoberfest in Colorado.
This festival at TEV Edelweiss pavilion in Morrison is the season opener for Oktoberfest along the Front Range. Brought to you by the same organization that hosts the Denver Christkindl Market, these folks do Oktoberfest right. Held in a lovely outdoor setting on Highway CO-8 in Morrison, enjoy live German music and dancing, authentic Bavarian food, a kid’s playground, and a classic German car show. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth, and free for children 11 and under. 17832 Highway 8, Morrison.
Enjoy Oktoberfest with a Colorado kick in Keystone over Labor Day weekend. Kids can enjoy free face painting, a bounce house, and dance performances while parents enjoy Colorado craft beers from New Belgium Brewery in the plaza of River Run Village. The day begins with a Das Bier Burner 5K at noon followed by festival fun from 1 to 6 p.m. Race fee is in addition to festival entry. Check the website for pricing and for weekend festival lodging packages. River Run Village, 140 Ida Belle Dr., Keystone.
September 7-9 and 14-16
This festival is so big the town needs two weekends to hold it. Along with traditional German beer from Spaten, adults enjoy bratwurst eating, keg bowling, and stein lifting contests while younger ones enjoy a craft center and live children’s entertainment. The Kinder Zone will be open from noon to 5 p.m. during the festival. All ages enjoy traditional music, Bavarian dancers, costume contests, yodeling, and alpenhorn blowing. The festival is in Lionshead the first weekend and in Vail Village the second. Entry is free and well-behaved dogs on a leash are allowed.
Not to be outdone, Breckenridge hosts a three-day Oktoberfest party on Main Street featuring over three dozen genuine German cuisine and beer vendors alongside live music and dancing. A family play area features a free bounce house and some paid kids’ activities on the Riverwalk Center lawn. Beer from both Germany and Colorado (Paulaner and Breckenridge Breweries) will be available. The event is free to enter, but drink tickets must be purchased to partake in the beverages. No dogs allowed at this event.
Downtown Littleton’s Oktoberfest pays homage to the very first Oktoberfest—which was actually a wedding celebration—with a public wedding event on Saturday morning. The three-day family-friendly event features live entertainment, traditional German food, dancing, a dachshund race, and Paulaner beer from Germany. Competitions take place throughout the weekend including stein hoisting, yodeling, and stick horse races. Admission to the event is free, but there is a fee for food and drinks. Bega Park, 2250 W. Main St., Littleton.
Parker will host its 12th annual Oktoberfest mid-September with German heritage and traditions, live music, and authentic food and beer. New this year kids can enjoy appearances by Grimm Fairytale characters all weekend including a play called “The King’s Favor.” A special kids’ area will also have kid-friendly vendors and activities while adults enjoy lawn games, beer-relays, or simply relax in the biergarten at O’Brien Memorial Park. Saturday night features a modern dance party with German electronic beats by DJ Eric von Beerstein at 9 p.m. O’Brien Memorial Park, 10795 Victorian Dr., Parker.
Festivities kick off with the Oktoberfest 5K race at 9 a.m. and continue all day long with German food, music, and dancing, a stein hoisting contest, and beers from Paulaner Brewery. There will also be a magician, games, rides, and inflatables for the kids, as well as the annual dachshund race. Admission to the event is free, but there is a fee for food and drinks. Town Center, 9288 Dorchester St., Highlands Ranch.
This uniquely Colorado Oktoberfest is sponsored by Left Hand Brewing and includes many of their beer brewing friends. There will also be cideries and local food vendors and some rocking non-German bands playing live music. The kids haven’t been left out; there will be ponies, a petting zoo, a rock climbing wall, water activities, and a kid zone. Bands include Perpetual Groove, BIG Something, Pandas & People, Rapidgrass, and headliners Reel Big Fish. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for youth, and free for kids five and under. VIP tickets are also available online. Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont.
September 21-23 and 28-30
Denver has the distinction of hosting one of the longest running Oktoberfests in the United States. Since 1969, LoDo has celebrated all things Bavarian and is the country’s second largest in attendance enjoyed by over 500,000 people annually. Held on Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd Streets, this fun festival features contests, live music, and lots of food and drink over two weekends. Events include brat eating, stein hoisting, keg bowling, and the always popular Long Dog Derby. The festival is free to enter, but the beer is purchased using a ticket system and food vendors are cash or credit only. Kids and dogs are always welcome. Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd Streets, downtown Denver.
Louisville’s Oktoberfest is in a new location this year, Community Park. Guests can enjoy food, games, and a variety of both German and modern live music. A special kids’ area will feature games and activities including arts and crafts, slacklines, jump ropes, big wheels, a jump castle, and fussball. Entry is $5 for 18 and over while kids 17 and under are free. Some activities have a fee. Check the website for the music schedule or to register for The Pretzel Run 5K/10K/kids’ run on Sunday. Community Park, 955 Bella Vista Dr., Louisville.
Enjoy a neighborhood Oktoberfest on South Pearl Street in Denver with beers, brats, and music. Beer will be provided by Platt Park Brewing and Craft Alley, Pearl Street restaurants will provide the food, and the music is from Rick Borger & The Average German Band and Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts. The event runs from 1 to 9 p.m. and is free to enter. Kids and dogs welcome. South Pearl between Buchtel and Evans, Denver.
This Colorado-centric event includes German themes and activities such as food, music, and games. However, guests will drink Northern Colorado beers while eating tasty brats and other German treats. The children’s play area includes face painting, an obstacle course, arcade games, an inflatable slide, and bubbles. Kids and adults can also participate in pie eating and stein hoisting contests. Lincoln Park, 8th Street and 9th Avenue, downtown Greeley.