Oktoberfest Denver is much more than a beer festival; it's a cultural phenomenon that has been captivating the city since 1969. This cherished Colorado tradition, held in the heart of Downtown Denver, on Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd Streets, attracts about 350,000 people over two weekends in September. It's not just a city favorite, but also regarded as one of the best Oktoberfest events in the United States.
Highlights of Denver Oktoberfest
With its diverse range of live music, engaging competitions, and delicious German delicacies, Oktoberfest Denver is the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience that everyone will enjoy.
Competitive stein hoisting
A festival highlight is the popular stein hoisting competition. Men and women demonstrate their strength and endurance as they compete to see who can hold their beer-filled stein the longest. This traditional Bavarian feat of strength is a crowd favorite, with the winners walking away with more than just bragging rights.
Live music and dance
Music is at the heart of Oktoberfest Denver, with over 30 bands performing live music across genres and generations. From traditional polka to modern beats featured in the late-night silent disco, there's music for every taste. Audience involvement is highly encouraged, with sing-alongs and even the famous chicken-dance included to ensure that everyone is part of the fun and revelry.
Keg bowling: A unique blend of beer and sport
The Oktoberfest in Denver spices up bowling by adding kegs. Participants strive to hit a strike at the Keg Bowling lane, proving that beer and bowling are a match made in heaven. This enjoyable and exceptional event never fails to attract a crowd.
A much-loved feature of Oktoberfest Denver is the costume contest. Attendees are encouraged to don traditional Bavarian attire - lederhosen for men and dirndls for women - to add to the festive spirit. It's not just about looking the part, though; there are prizes for the best-dressed, adding a competitive edge to the fun.
“Premium Beer Hall”
The “Premium Beer Hall” offers an authentic Oktoberfest experience. With VIP packages, guests can enjoy the festivities from a dedicated fenced-off section while indulging in food and drinks. In addition, VIP package holders receive a ceramic stein, a t-shirt, and a German hat.
“Long Dog Derby”
Perhaps the most endearing event at Oktoberfest Denver is the “Long Dog Derby”. This race sees dachshunds of all shapes and sizes competing for the title of the fastest pup, much to the delight of the cheering crowds.
A taste of Bavaria in Denver
No Oktoberfest celebration would be complete without traditional German fare. Visitors can indulge in a range of Bavarian classics including würstl (sausages), brezeln (pretzels), sauerkraut, rotkohl (red cabbage), and roasted chicken. For those with a sweet tooth, apple strudel offers a delightful finish. Beer remains the star of the show, but the festival also serves a variety of other tasty beverages.
Oktoberfest Denver: A celebration for all
Oktoberfest Denver is more than a festival—it's a community event that brings people together to celebrate good times, tradition, and camaraderie. Whether you're a beer enthusiast, a fan of German culture, or simply looking for a great time, Oktoberfest Denver is a must-visit event in the Mile-High City's calendar.
Oktoberfest Denver: A shopping experience
In addition to food, drinks, and entertainment, Oktoberfest Denver also features a marketplace. Here, vendors offer a range of arts, crafts, and souvenirs. It's the perfect place to find a unique memento of your Oktoberfest experience or a gift for someone special.
Entry and tickets
While entertainment at the festival is free, Oktoberfest wristbands are available at various prices ranging from $15 to $65. These wristbands not only grant access to the festival, but also come with different perks and benefits. VIP packages offer the most comprehensive Oktoberfest experience, with access to the Premium Beer Hall, food and drinks in a VIP-only section, and souvenirs including a ceramic stein, a t-shirt, and a German hat.
Plan your visit
Oktoberfest Denver is held over two weekends in September, providing ample opportunity to join the fun. Located in Downtown Denver on Larimer Street, between 20th and 22nd Streets, it's easily accessible and surrounded by other attractions. So, whether you're a local or a visitor, make sure to mark your calendar for this exciting event.
Oktoberfest Denver is an event not to be missed. Its fusion of traditional Bavarian culture with local Colorado charm creates an atmosphere that's both authentic and unique. From the first toast to the last dance, it's a celebration of camaraderie, tradition, and, of course, excellent beer. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Oktoberfest veteran, you're sure to find something to love at Oktoberfest Denver. So, dust off your lederhosen or dirndl, gather your friends, and get ready to join in the fun at Denver's Oktoberfest.