This week I’d like to highlight a glorious festival that kicks off around this time of the year throughout the country, the event we all know of as Oktoberfest. Traditionally running from late September till the first Sunday in October, this is a 16 day festival in Munich that lays claim to the largest beer festival in the world. We have a hard time staying conscious after 4 hours of a beer festival here in the states, imagine what 16 days of delicious beer, food and entertainment would do for you. Sounds like heaven on earth.
In the U.S. we have adopted a much more abbreviated version of Munich’s Oktoberfest, with most cities celebrating for 2 to 3 days before we hang up our lederhosen. Thats not enough time to consume quite the amount that is seen in Munich, roughly 8 million litres, but it’s a great way to pay homage to the original celebration without traveling all the way to Bavaria.
Noting the strong German heritage in Kentucky, we have several Oktoberfest events in the state that are going on over the next few weeks. Additionally, local breweries Blue Stallion, West Sixth, Goodwood and Great Flood are all releasing their own versions of Oktoberfest throughout this month as well.
Here is a list of upcoming Oktoberfest events…
Original Butchertown Oktoberfest – Louisville, KY – September 19, 2015.
A tradition for more than 40 years, celebrating the heritage of this historic neighborhood. This Louisville Oktoberfest will have an art fair, food and beer. German Mass in the afternoon and live music in the evening including the Rhiengold Band and classical German Bach. Location: St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1406 E Washington St, Louisville, Kentucky.
Great Flood’s Oktoberfest – Louisville, KY – Saturday, September 26th.
We’re pitting American and German Oktoberfest beers against each other, including our very own Great Flood Oktoberfest entering the fray! You might even see some lederhosen (no promises).
Belle of Louisville Oktoberfest Cruise – Louisville, KY – October 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2015.
A three hour cruise with live music and German theme on the Ohio River. Choose from sightseeing only or make advance reservations for the lunch buffet. Tickets with buffet range from $28 for kids to $38 for adults. Belle of Louisville celebrates its 100th year. Enjoy the live music, dancing and German styled foods. Generally runs from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. Location: 401 West River Road Louisville, KY
Smithland Octoberfest – Smithland, KY – October 3, 2015.
An annual celebration since 1987. They had to cancel last year due to inclement weather so we hope they have twice the party in 2014! They will have a parade with floats, Pow Wow history presentation, live music and silent auction. There have also been mini-tractor pulls and the firefighter olympics. Their theme is “Honoring Those Who Protect and Serve”.
Saint Timothy Parish Oktoberfest – Union, KY – September 18-20, 2015
Annual Parish festival with German & American food, drinks, live music, midway rides, games and entertainment. 5K Twilight Run/Walk on Saturday evening, with kids free fun run before the event. Top 25 men and women receive an official Oktoberfest mug. Sunday is family day with all you can ride bracelets on sale. Free on site parking. Location: 10272 US 42 Union KY 41091
Newport Oktoberfest – Newport, KY – September 25-27, 2015
Large beer tents sponsored by German breweries with food, music and continuous live German entertainment that promises to be the most authentic Oktoberfest in the area. Free admission. On Friday evening, enjoy the fireworks after the Cincinnati Reds game. The Cincinnati Beer Run also happens this weekend, with a short 2.5 mile course charity run that has craft beer sampling from local breweries every half mile. Participants get a souvenir glass and t-shirt. Location: Riverboat Row, Newport, Kentucky, 41071
Spencer County Octoberfest – Taylorsville, KY – October 2-3, 2015
Last year’s description: The theme for 2014 is The Wild West. There will be a talent show for cowboys and cowgirls. There will be multiple pageants including Pre-Teen, Junior Miss and Miss Octoberfest as well as for Babies, Tiny Tots, Little Mister & Miss and King & Queen Cutie. Seems like they have a lot of fun even if I don’t see much German flair. Location: Downtown Taylorsville, KY.
Paducah Oktoberfest – Paducah, KY – October 17, 2015
Fifth annual Oktoberfest & Polka Party at Maiden Alley Cinema & Gallery. Beer tasting dinner generally Friday night with full day of food, Schlafly beer and live music by multiple bands on Saturday. Market Square is blocked off to traffic for the festival. Location: 112 Maiden Alley, Paducah, KY 42001
Oktoberfest in the Park – Danville, KY – September 26, 2015
Enjoy the sixth year of this festival in downtown Danville sponsored by the Heart of Danville Main Street Program. This Kentucky Oktoberfest will have German & American food from vendors, European & craft beer, polka dancing and live music. Admission is free. Proceeds from the event support the revitalization of downtown. Location: Constitution Square Park