If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, then make your way to the charming burg of Leavenworth, Washington. The alpine architecture echoes in homage to small-town Bavaria, and the surrounding mountain beauty plays the perfect backdrop to weekly ceremonial keg tappings, German-themed parades, and beer gardens.

Here’s what you can expect to find at Leavenworth Oktoberfest this year!

Leavenworth Oktoberfest 2017 Dates

  • September 29-30
  • October 6-7
  • October 13-14

Festival Shuttle

If you’re not staying right in the middle of town, driving (and specifically parking) at the festival can be a pain. To save yourself the trouble, head to the nearest shuttle pick-up spot and grab a ride for a small fee, or even better: arrange to have the shuttle pick you up at your vacation rental. Most importantly, you can enjoy the festival beer without worrying about driving after everything winds down.

Weekly Keg Tapping Ceremony

A wagon filled with beer kegs.
The beer wagon | Photo courtesy of trec_lit

Make sure that you make it to the delightful opening procession every Saturday at noon, where a horse-drawn beer wagon leads the parade past the vendors on Front Street. Afterwards, it’s time for one of the top events of the whole festival: the weekly ceremonial keg tapping. Beginning at 1 p.m., the mayor honors a very Bavarian tradition of tapping the festival keg to start the weekend off right—and get the beer flowing in abundance.

Food & Entertainment

Members of a band, playing wind ensembles in green outfits.
Oktoberfest entertainment | Photo courtesy of Vlad B.

After the keg tapping ceremony, it’s always worth sticking around to listen to some traditional live music and eat some food. Food and entertainment options span four distinct venues within the village: the Festhalle, Bier Stube, Tanz Halle, and Spass Platz. Check out the official venue map here.

Leavenworth Oktoberfest Food (Inside Festival Grounds):

  • Bratwurst on a bun (alone or as part of a meal with coleslaw and beans)
  • BBQ ribs
  • Turkey legs
  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Mug root beer floats
  • German-style cake with whipped cream
  • A full selection of domestic & imported beer

Other Food in Leavenworth

Munchen Haus food
Kielbasa with sauerkraut, pretzel, and pilsner at München Haus| Photo courtesy of Brittany L.

Need a break from festival food? Open-air München Haus is arguably the best place to grab brats and beer in the whole town, so even if the line looks intimidating, service is quick and it’s worth the wait. Other casual German options in the center of town include the Leavenworth Sausage Garten and Little Korner.

Family-Friendly Entertainment

Oktoberfest dancers
Leavenworth Oktoberfest dancers | Photo courtesy of Vlad B.

Oktoberfest isn’t just for adults! Take the kids to the Kinderplatz downtown to check out the bouncy houses and climbing wall. They’ll love meeting L-Bow the Clown and watching the Edelweiss Tanz Gruppe perform classical Bavarian dances.

Whether you’re coming to hear Leavenworth’s very own Musikkappelle, enter the chicken dance contest, or sample your way through traditional German fare, it’s easy to make your visit to Leavenworth part of a longer trip. Leavenworth offers a picturesque spot to experience Oktoberfest without having to renew your passport!

Traveling with a group? There’s no better place to stay for Oktoberfest than a vacation rental in Leavenworth!

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Author: Ryan Stevens

Ryan’s love of boutique wines and small batch brews has fueled his writings and travels. Sharing local secrets is his specialty, from taking travelers to the hidden vineyards and gems of the Willamette Valley to showcasing the best spots to pop in and grab a pint in San Diego.