School is back in session and the morning air is cool, all signs that Fall is just around the corner. The best way to kick off the Fall season in Bend is with the annual Bend Oktoberfest! This event is an incredible opportunity to sample seasonal local craft beers as well as select Bavarian wines, eat unique food, and participate in fun events like the Wiener Dog Races, Tricycle Races, Yodeling contests and more. All in a FREE family-friendly environment.
Bend Oktoberfest is a celebration of food, community and craft beer. This is a new take on a very old tradition, featuring amazing Bend beer while enjoying Bend’s community at it’s best. Similar to the original Munich festival, which celebrates local beer, Bend Oktoberfest will feature local beer as well as authentic German brews. There will be eleven local breweries participating, each serving seasonal beers brewed in the spirit of Oktoberfest! In addition to the amazing beer selection, Bend Oktoberfest will showcase delicious food and authentic German wines.
This year there will also be an expanded OnPoint Family Fun Fest. Kids can enjoy bounce houses, play giant Jenga, cornhole and other interactive games.
One of the most anticipated events of the festival is the famous Weiner Dog Race that happens promptly at 4pm on Saturday Sept 16th (wiener dog registration is at 3). Although all events are well attended, the Weiner Dog Race draws the largest crowd! Be sure to arrive early in order to get a great seat in the expanded bleacher seating area on Irving.
With the festival going until 10pm both nights, there is also nightlife to be found at Oktoberfest! You can enjoy the sounds of the Mirko Pressler Band (an authentic Oompah band), dance the night away, and even participate (or just witness) the famous chicken dance competition!
For many people, Oktoberfest is all about the beer! This year Oktoberfest will feature 20+ different brews from Crux, Deschutes Brewery, Bend Brewing Company, Boneyard Beer, Silver Moon Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Three Creeks Brewing, Worth Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Mazama Brewing. With beers like Easy Day Kolsch, American Wheat, Bavarian Tart, Hopzeit Autumn IPA, and Hoppenwolf, and many more! To entice you even more…once an Oktoberfest stein is purchased, every 17oz refill is only $5!
Oktoberfest is the largest fundraiser for the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), a local non-profit that is committed to seeing Downtown Bend grow and thrive. The DBBA funds and maintains the flower baskets, cleaning of sidewalks and common areas, assists in sidewalk snow removal, holiday decorations, business advocacy and marketing downtown.
This year, the merchants in Downtown Bend are extending some Community love and offering discounts at their stores when anyone with an Oktoberfest wristband shops during the Oktoberfest weekend. For a list of participating merchants, visit the Oktoberfest website or grab a list of participating businesses at the event!
Oktoberfest runs Friday, September 15th from 3-10pm and Saturday, September 16th from 12-10pm on Oregon and Irving in Downtown Bend. Be sure to head down early for the first ever Oktoberfest Happy Hour! FRIDAY ONLY from 3-5pm, get a free plastic stein with $5 beer purchase…now that’s Living the Bend Life!