Leavenworth Oktoberfest

The Leavenworth Oktoberfest is one of the biggest and best celebrations of German culture outside of Germany itself, and one of the biggest celebrations on the calendar of Washington State events and holidays. This village nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains celebrates its Bavarian roots all the time, but Oktoberfest is the best time to party.

Leavenworth Washington Oktoberfest
Leavenworth Washington Oktoberfest

While many events happen on a single Saturday, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest offers three weekends’ worth of fun. Like the original harvest festival in Munich, this festival begins in September when the weather is a little warmer and continues the first two weekends in October. All six of the Oktoberfest days are filled with good food as much as good fun—all surrounded by the charming city’s Bavarian architecture.

As you’d expect for Oktoberfest events, food and beer is an essential part of the celebration. The festival features plenty of great brews, and local wine also is available. Bratwurst is a Leavenworth Oktoberfest specialty, as are root beer floats, pulled pork sandwiches, and German-style cake with whipped cream.

Oktoberfest in Leavenworth
Oktoberfest in Leavenworth

Festival fun includes plenty of live music and dancing as well as great shopping and a kids’ play area. Each Saturday begins with an opening ceremony that would make the mayor of Munich proud. The celebration kicks off with a parade filled with traditional music and marches and a beer wagon dressed in red and white carnations. Oktoberfest girls wear the traditional dirndl dress, while the gentlemen don the traditional lederhosen. The parade ends with the tapping of the keg—just like Oktoberfest in Munich.

Since the first festival in 1998, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest has grown bigger and better every year. It now takes place at four venues throughout town, and a free shuttle can take you where you want to go. Admission tickets are required for each Friday and Saturday of the festival, and once you get to Oktoberfest, you can purchase tickets for food and drinks.

Images: leavenworth.org

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