CHICAGO, IL. Wednesday, September 5, 2012. Chicago may be many steins away from Munich, Germany, the original site for Oktoberfest, but when has that ever stopped Chi-town from throwing a party for a good cause...or just be"cause". Oktoberfest in Chicago starts in early September and just keeps going and going. Here's a roundup of the best and wurst of the fests in no particular order.
1. The 27th Annual Berghoff Oktoberfest.
The Berghoff lays claim to being the largest and longest running Oktoberfest in Chicago dating back to the mid-1980's. This year they are promising their annual fall blast will be bigger and better than ever. The city won't have to wait long to find out as the fest kicks off this Thursday, September 6 (through September 30) in the restaurant (17 W. Adams) with the traditional tapping of the keg party--then keeps going until the end of September with giveaways, commemorative steins, brat, beer and bourbon tastings.
2. Oktoberfest on Federal Plaza.
Berghoff's big 3-day outdoor bash kicks off at John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza (corner of Adams and Dearborn) on September 12th through the 14th with traditional German performances by Johnny Wagner Band and nightly shows by some of Chicago's favorite bands. Plus traditional German faire (and beer, of course). Free admission, daily from 11a.m.-9p.m.
3. Oktoberfest @ St. Alphonsus .
Three days of beer, brats, live entertainment and fun are on tap for the thousands that fill the streets for this authentic annual Oktoberfest celebration. The fest offers all the usual Oktoberfest favs with homemade bratwurst and beer in a traditional beer garden setting, along with ooom-pah music and more. $5. September 28-30. Friday: 5p.m. to 10p.m.; Saturday: 11a.m. to 10p.m.; Sunday: 11a.m. to 7p.m. Southport and Lincoln Ave. Benefits St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church.
4. Prost! Annual Germany’s Best and Oktoberfest at Navy Pier. Please Note: This event has been CANCELLED for 2012 but in the works for 2013.
5. Oktoberfest at Timothy O’Toole’s.
Just two and a half weeks after their "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day Party" on September 11, Timothy O'Toole's Irish pub takes on a German accent with their Annual Oktoberfest Celebration complete with Beer Wenches, Traditional German Food Specials and all 25oz Oktoberfest beers priced at $6.50. The two-day bash kicks off on Friday, September 28th at 622 N. Fairbanks Court.
6. Oktoberfest Brew Cruise.
Take a 90-minute water tour of Lake Michigan while sipping microbrews from Leinenkugel and munching on traditional German fare on The Oktoberfest Brew Cruise. The cruise departs from Ogden Slip at Navy Pier at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, October 7. Tickets are $39 (Must be 21.) A cash bar is also on board. 312-222-9328
7. Glenview House Oktoberfest.
Glenview House will host their all-day Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 22 under a festival tent located in the parking lot directly east of the restaurant. Guests can feast on authentic grub, grog and enjoy a polka or two from Die Musikmeisters German band playing a rousing blend of traditional German music. Performances from 2p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7p.m. to 10p.m. Specials include liters ($10) and half liters ($5) of Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier and Hofbräu Hefe Weizen. Chef Grant Slauterbeck will be serving up classic Bavarian specialties including brats, pretzels and Wiener schnitzel in the tent party as well as in the restaurant for both lunch and dinner. 1843 Glenview Road, Glenview, 847-724-0692.
8. Oak Park Oaktoberfest.
No this is not a misspelling, it is a nod to "Oak" Park not 'OKT' Park. The 22nd annual two-day event takes over downtown Oak Park on September 14 and 15. Sample seasonal food from local restaurants, specialty microbrew beers, great wines, music and even a children's "root beer garden" on Saturday offering Zucchini races, Karaoke and more. September 14, 4-10p.m. and September 15 from 12-10pm. Marion Street & North Blvd., Oak Park. 708-383-4145
9. Itasca Oktoberfest.
Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8, 5p.m. to 11p.m. Friday and in Downtown Itasca along Orchard Street.
10. Berwyn's Oktoberfest.
Berwyn's popular Oktoberfest returns for its 11th year on September 14 and 15. The fun includes food, live performances, amusement rides, vendors, a beer garden. Dogs are welcome at this event at the special Dog-toberfest featuring a dog friendly area with activities and treats for Fido. 6p.m. to 11p.m. Friday and noon to 11p.m. Saturday.Windsor and Stanley Avenues, Berwyn, 708 788 8100.
11. Villa Park Oktoberfest.
Lions Park, 320 E. Wildwood Ave. Friday, September 7. (630) 834-8970.
12. Oakbrook Oktoberfest 2012.
Saturday, September 22, Oak Brook Park District, 1450 Forest Gate Road. (630) 645-9521.
13. McToberfest Celebration.
The Irish love to party even if it means that they need to get a little creative by putting the Irish prefix "Mc" into the mix. For the second year in a row The Irish Heritage Center has teamed up with DANK Haus German American Cultural Center for their crazy mixed-up German/Irish McToberfest celebration. The Friday, September 28 party features music by Jimmy's Bavarians, Gerry Haughey and Identity Irish Dancers. Both German and Irish food and drinks will be on tap with brews including: Bitburger, Hacker-Pschorr and Sam Adams Octoberfest along with Irish brews such as Guinness, Smithwick's and Harp. The fest takes place at the Center's Fifth Province Pub, 5p.m.-midnight, Tickets: $10 at the door, 4626 North Knox Avenue, 773-282-7035.
14. Bolingbrook 2012 Oktoberfest at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant.
The free admittance one-day Bolingbrook Oktoberfest will hold its official tapping party on Tuesday, September 11 at the Promenade Bolingbrook Shopping Center. Expect good old-fashioned fun with three food and beer tents, live musical entertainment provided by the Oktoberfest Oompah Band (5 p.m. until 7 p.m.), DJ entertainment (7 p.m.until 9 p.m.) plus a stein contest, German dancers, vendors, and a kids area with face painting, clown and a stilt walker. The Promenade Bolingbrook shopping center is at 639 E. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook.
15. Beer, Brats and Boats Oktoberfest Cruise.
Shoreline Sightseeing is teaming up with Chicago's Paulina Market for an Oktoberfest feast on Friday, September 28th. The floating Oktoberfest will feature traditional German dishes including Paulina Market's famous brats, sauerkraut and German potato salad as well as Oktoberfest beers and music. The two-hour Beer, Brats and Boats Oktoberfest Cruise departs at 7 p.m. from Gateway Park at Navy Pier, and returns at 9 p.m. Tickets are $39 per person. Passengers must be 21 year or older. Tickets can be purchased online.
16. Wilmette Oktoberfest.
The Wilmette Oktoberfest offers something for all ages and tastes. Saturday, September 15, 9a.m. to 11:30p.m. This popular festival features a very full day of activities kicking off with an antiques market at 9a.m. plus family activities, an outdoor beer garden, a German diner and live music. St. Joseph School, 1740 Lake Ave., Wilmette.
17. Oktoberfest at MB Financial Park.
On Saturday- Sunday, September 22-23 MB Financial Park at Rosemont will host an Oktoberfest celebration on the lawn from 1 – 6 p.m. both days. The fest will feature live bands, and food and drinks from restaurants within the complex. Admission is free. 5501 Park Place, a new looping street situated west of River Road between Bryn Mawr and Balmoral Avenues. Convenient parking is available or take the CTA Blue Line to the Rosemont station.
18. River North Business Association OktoberFeast.
River North's Business Association's fourth annual OctoberFeast takes place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday, October 2. OctoberFeast is a tasting tour of River North restaurants and bars. Registration takes place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy, 516 N. Clark. Other participating venues include 25 Degrees, Fleming's PrimeSteakhouse & Wine Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Hooters, House of Blues, Italiasia(The Best of Both Worlds), Kinzie Chophouse, LaMadia, Maggiano's Little Italy, Maxwell's at the Club, Moe's Cantina, Nick's Fishmarket Grill and Bar, ParisClub, The Redhead Piano Bar, Rockit Bar & Grill, Scoozi!, Sullivan'sSteakhouse, Theory, Underground Wonder Bar, Untitled, and Wildfire. $50.
19. Robbie and Riemer's Annual Oktoberfestapalooza at The Pony.
Enjoy Oktoberfest at The Pony September 30 with a Yodeling Contest, Polka Dance-off, Lederhosen, and Polka Musical Chairs plus beer specials and a complimentary Oktoberfest Tasting: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. 1638 West Belmont.
20. Oktoberfest Celebration at Frontier.
Guests can enjoy Oktoberfest specials beginning at noon at Frontier on Saturday, October 13. Food specials include Venison Knockwurst, Boar Jagerwurst and Homemade Bratwurst on the grill. Frontier's Oktoberfest will also feature craft Oktoberfest beers as well as an Oompah Band beginning at 3 p.m. 1072 North Milwaukee.
21. Lynfred Winery Oktoberfest.
Lynfred Winery Oktoberfest, October 6,7 (noon to 7p.m.) $3 admission. 15 South Roselle Road.
Filed under: Oktoberfest Events.