The 14th Annual Oktoberfest Northwest is coming to the Washington State Fair Events Center Oct. 5-7. Hours are noon to midnight Friday Oct. 5; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday Oct. 6 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Oct. 7. (Note: 21 and older after 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 6).
The three-day festival is Washington’s largest Munich-style Oktoberfest celebration, featuring authentic live music and entertainment in two themed Festhalles: The Munich Festhalle and the new Bavarian Festhalle, including “The Queen of Oktoberfest” Manuela Horn with her brand-new show, plus – direct from Nashville – five-time Grammy Nominee LynnMarie and her accordion is back, and this time she’s bringing The Nashville Polka Guys with her.
Oktoberfest NW also features German biers, wine and authentic foods, Bier-lympics, Stein Dash 5K, Hammerschlagen, Wiener Dog races on Sunday, a Sports Haus with TV’s and games like beer pong and corn hole toss and more.
Oktoberfest NW welcomes families to enjoy the authentic Oktoberfest spirit with activities for the kids, including arts and crafts by the German School of Tacoma, a half-mile Kids Root Beer Run, authentic Maypole dance, free pumpkin decorating, face painting, and delicious root beer in the Root Bier Float Garden, kids Hammerschlagen, and a scavenger hunt.
New this year, Oktoberfest NW has created a new covered festhalle called the Bavarian Halle. The Bavarian Halle is located across from the Munich Festhalle and will celebrate German style music on the Bavarian Halle Stage with polka, polka rock, and oompah bands on Friday and Saturday. Headliners on the Bavarian Halle Stage include Manuela Horn (Friday, Oct. 5 at 9:35-10:55 p.m.) and LynnMarie and The Nashville Polka Guys (Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8:45 – 10:55 p.m.). Featured acts include Dopplebock and The Bavarian Bier Garden Band. Plus, you can buy bier tickets, and the new Blinkie Stein in here too.
Manuela Horn: The Queen of Oktoberfest has performed at Oktoberfest Northwest for more than seven years. She is host, headliner and swing girl. Oktoberfest Northwest officially crowned her the “Queen of Oktoberfest” in 2015. Manuela brings the fun for the late-night crowd with her original set of polka parodies and classics.
LynnMarie: LynnMarie is a five-time Grammy nominee. The squeeze box player and vocalist was the first female artist ever to win a Grammy nod for Best Polka Album. She fuses high-energy rock, country, Americana and the traditional music of her ethnic heritage to wow crowds everywhere, from Oktoberfests, to music festivals, coffee houses and Europe.
Pumpkin Smash: Experience a Guinness World Record in the making when, for the first time in Oktoberfest NW history, Ron Sarchian will attempt to smash the most pumpkins in one minute. Sarchian is a “record man” who has broken seven world records. He broke his very first Guinness World Record, the “Punchbag Marathon” and punched a 100-pound heavy bag for 36 hours and 3 minutes in 2004. Breaking Guinness World Records is Sarchian’s way of honoring his parents, and his plans to break more, continue with the upcoming pumpkin smashing at Oktoberfest NW. The event takes place Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. at the Outdoor Biergarten near the new Bavarian Halle. It is free, but be warned that pumpkins will be flying – get your camera ready. All pumpkins used in this record world attempt meet Guinness World Records specifications, and will be donated to Washington State farms post event.
Hammerschlagen: In 2005, Oktoberfest NW introduced Hammerschlagen to the Pacific Northwest and it quickly became one of the most popular Oktoberfest Northwest activities. Oktoberfest NW hosts the official Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions on Friday, Oct. 5, 7-8 p.m. with signups starting at 5 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 6, 6-8 p.m. with signups starting 4 p.m. It’s a first come, first serve sign up system and at the end the newest Hammerschlagen Champion will be crowned.
Bavarian Bier-lympics: Have you got what it takes to be a Bavarian Bier-lympics champ? Teams between two and four will battle it out through a course of four challenging and fun activities including the Brat Toss, TP Lederhosen, Stein Holding and Hammerschlagen to see who will take the title of Bavarian Bier-lympics winners. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 6, 1-2:45 p.m. at Weiner Dog Stadium inside Munich Festhalle.
Stein Dash 5k: The Stein Dash 5k returns and is better than ever as the “Ultimate Beer Run.” This year, participants will run 3.1 miles around the fairgrounds with a souvenir stein and have the option to get a taste at three beer stops along the route. Water will also be available. The race ends inside of the Oktoberfest Northwest Munich Festhalle where participants’ first drink (beer or root beer) is on the “Haus.” The 5k takes place on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m. and all ages are welcome. (Those under 21 will be served root beer at the race.) Register at www.steindash5k.com.
Half mile Kids Root Beer Run: Hot on the Stein Dasher’s heels in 2018 will be little Stein Dashers. Children 10 and under can participate in the Kids 1/2 Mile Root Beer Run. The race starts at noon. All half-mile kids’ participants will receive: Kids Root Beer Run “racing” cape; 5-ounce root beer chug at the 1/4-mile mark; free entry into Oktoberfest Northwest; Stein Dash Mug; first root beer on the house. Register at steindash5k.com.
Family Fest Zone at Oktoberfest NW: What’s Oktoberfest NW without a little kinderfest for the children? Stop by the Root Bier Garden in the Munich Festhalle, a family fun zone dedicated to the “kinder” with free airbrush tattoos and face painting on Saturday and Sunday, a scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, pumpkin decorating, a kids Hammerschlagen and delicious root bier floats. Plus, on Sunday, Oct. 7, it’s family day with all-ages general admission at half price at $7.50. Children 12 and under are free all weekend, and as a special entertainment treat for the kids, Manuela Horn’s famous “Kinderfest Show” is back. This fun, interactive polka dance show and sing-a-long for all ages will have children smiling from ear-to-ear. Manuela will host her Kinderfest Show on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2:20 – 3:15 p.m. from the Munich Festhalle Stage.
Wiener Dog Races: The 11th annual Wiener Dog Races will be taking place Sunday, Oct. 7 from noon to 4 p.m. and also include several costume contests. Guests can sign up their dashing dachshunds online at oktoberfestnw.com or on the day of the race, between 11a.m. and noon 12 p.m. The Sports Haus will be playing sports all day.
For more details on Oktoberfest NW, visit www.oktoberfestnw.com.