Beer-themed Oktoberfest celebrations are held in many other cities around the world, some in October and some in September, which has more predictably favorable weather. The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is “Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest” in Ontario, Canada. The largest in the United States “Oktoberfest Zinzinnati” is in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Short history of Oktoberfest
The tradition of Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany in 1810 when Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Week-long nuptial festivities began on October 12 and ended on October 17, with a horse race concluding the celebration. And the wedding ceremony, of course. Munich celebrations were repeated every year after that first wedding celebration, giving rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest.
Over the years, the character of the festival changed to include an agricultural fair, carousels and other amusements, and beer stands that became large beer halls. The popular horse races fell out of favor and are no longer held today. The beer halls became immensely popular. Go figure.
Over 200 years later, the Munich Oktoberfest is the largest festival on Earth, with over six million visitors from around the world spending nearly a half-billion dollars during the two-week event. Attendees drink million of gallons of beer, eat thousands of pounds of sausage, and consume nearly a half-million spit-roasted chickens. Zum wohl!
Why is Oktoberfest spelled so funny?
Oktober is simply the German spelling for the month of October. That’s it. No hidden meanings or other folklore is attached.
Oktoberfest in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area
The Seattle area is home to a several beer festivals in the fall. The following list of events are some of the longest running and largest October beer festivals in the Puget Sound region.
(Listed alphabetically by city or location location. )
Kirkland Oktoberfest is the Seattle area’s largest authentic Oktoberfest and München-style biergarten. It is a 21+ only event that takes place on the Kirkland waterfront.
- 2021 Kirkland Oktoberfest: September 24-26, 2021. Daily admission $25-$35. Weekend pass $55. Bier, cider, wine, and cocktails start at $9 and up. Food items generally sell from between $7- $19. Ticket info: Kirkland Oktoberfest 2021 Tickets | September 24 – 26, 2021
Leavenworth, WA Oktoberfest is the next best thing to being at the world’s largest beer festival in Munich, Germany. Leavenworth Oktoberfest occurs on the first three weekends of October. Minors are allowed with an adult until 9 pm each night.
Puyallup Oktoberfest Northwest hosts Western Washington’s largest Munich-inspired Festhalle in October at the Fairgrounds in Puyallup. It’s all-ages until 6pm each evening and all day Sunday.
- 2021 Puyallup Oktoberfest Northwest online ticket discounts: Friday: $12.00 (onsite $15), Saturday: $14 (onsite $17), Sunday 1/2 price $6.50 (onsite $7.50). More info: Oktoberfest Northwest online ticket discounts (oktoberfestnw.com)
Seattle Fremont Oktoberfest is Seattle’s largest fall beer festival held in September outdoors in the streets of Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. This is strictly a 21+ only event; meaning no babes in arms, in strollers, or in backpacks. None. Nichts. Nada. Verboten.
- 2021 Fremont Oktoberfest, September 17-19, 2021. Tickets $25-$60 per day (includes tasting tokens).
Seattle Wallingford Wurst Festival is an Oktoberfest-style celebration that takes place every September at St. Benedict School in a family-friendly neighborhood environment. There’s no charge for admission.
- Usually takes place in September. As of August 30, the 2021 festival dates were not announced.
Listed below is our calendar of upcoming Oktoberfest events.
Upcoming Oktoberfest beer or cider festivals
The following list of Oktoberfest events is updated beginning in late summer for fall beer and cider festivals around the Puget Sound region.
Friday, September 30, 2022
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Sunday, October 2, 2022