Oktoberfest at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is coming up soon in October; in the meantime embrace your inner German with these other celebrations that start in September.
We started our Oktoberfest tradition at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park two years ago with extra activities for families, including a pumpkin patch, face painting, and hayrides. Last year, we added an Oktoberfest band for a weekend, and it was such a hit we’re doing two weekends this year – stay tuned for all the details. Our rides will continue to be open this fall, and we’ll have plenty of beer, brats, and other food and drink specials.
Most Oktoberfests in the Rocky Mountains get moved to September, but in Glenwood Springs, October weather is perfect for us at the Park on top of Iron Mountain. If you want to get ready for our celebration, here are our Top Ten suggestions for events in Colorado and nearby.
- The Denver Oktoberfest, September 22-23 and 29-30
Denver will host the 48th Annual Stein Hoisting National Championships, the Keg Bowling National Championships, the 12th Annual Long Dog (Dachshund Derby), and a bratwurst-eating contest. There will be music on a downtown German stage.
- The 23rd Annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest, September 8-10
Breckenridge lays claim to the largest Oktoberfest street party in the Rocky Mountains. More than three dozen vendors will sell genuine German cuisine and brew. German-themed games include Hammerschlagan, a nail-driving contest. There will be Bavarian lederhosen, oompah music, polka dancing, a 5K run, and a ceremonial keg tapping.
- Oktoberfest at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Sandy, Utah, August 12-October 15 (Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day)
This event started in 1973 and now draws a total of more than 60,000 visitors. The biergarten has more than 50 varieties of beer, both traditional German and local brews. Authentic German food and music, handmade arts and crafts, and children’s activities are on tap.
- Vail Oktoberfest, September 8-10 and 15-17, 2017
Vail’s admission-free event includes traditional food and Paulaner beer, Bavarian music, dancing, yodeling, and contests for bratwurst eating, keg bowling, stein lifting, and best Oktoberfest costume. Free concerts are on Saturday nights. Children’s events include crafts, entertainers, and a 1K fun run.
- Ninth Annual Steamboat OktoberWest, September 15-16
Steamboat’s Friday Beer Stroll among participating restaurants features Colorado, not German, beer. Saturday’s event in Gondola Square at the Steamboat Mountain Village includes live music, all the Colorado beef you can taste at an “I Love Beef Cook Off” from local restaurants, and 45 Rocky Mountain brewers, each sampling two beers, in the beer garden.
- Keystone’s Oktoberfest, River Run Village, September 2
The Das Bier Burner 5K initiates the events at noon, with a pint of craft beer for any adult who crosses the finish line. New Belgium Brewery will bring Colorado craft beers with German roots. Concerts and kids events are free.
- FORToberfest, Fort Collins, September 16
The last music festival in Old Town Square includes 10-plus hours of live music – funk, bluegrass, rock, indie, and more – seasonal beer from more than six local breweries, and bicycle booths. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is free.
- Red River Oktoberfest, New Mexico, October 6-8
At the annual Oktoberfest in Brandenburg Park, you can vote for the best brews from local microbreweries, eat German food, buy crafts from local vendors, and listen to German oompah music. There will be a Miss Oktoberfest contest, competitive stein holding, chicken yodeling, and brat-eating, as well as activities for kids.
- Art & Oktoberfest, Boulder, September 29-October 1
This event in Boulder’s Band Shell Central Park includes arts and crafts, music, German food, polka, and a German beer garden. Dancing and polka lessons will be held in front of the bandshell.
- Grand Targhee’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest, Alta, Wyoming, September 16.
This festival includes brats, sausages, pretzels, music, and beers from local microbreweries. Events for children include face painting, potato sack races, and a pumpkin toss.