Oktoberfest Celebrations Around Indy and Around the State
In Munich, Germany, the home of Oktoberfest, celebrations go on for 16 days starting in late September.
Indianapolis says “Danke” for the inspiration. Oktoberfest events in the city and surrounding areas start in early September and continue through mid-October.
Sure, there’s a German-style beer tent and more than a few big mugs, but parties here also slip in organic food, hayrides, Indian fare and fundraising for good causes.
Here’s a baker’s dozen of Deutsch-style festivities.
St. Boniface Germanfest:
The 14-piece, tongue-in-cheek polka/rock band Polkaboy is part of the music, food and dance mix. 4:30 to 11 p.m. Sept. 6, St. Boniface Catholic Church, 318 N. 9th Street, Lafayette. Info: www.lafayettegermanfest.org. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: The Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and a raffle for $10,000.
Steins, brats, pretzels and folk dancing 4 to 10 p.m. Sept. 4, 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 5-6, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 7. German Park, 8600 S Meridian St. Info: www.indianapolisgak.com/oktoberfest. Cost: $5.
Don’t miss: The biergarten stage, the best place to watch German dancers.
Mad Anthony Brewing Oktobeerfest:
Sample unlimited tastes of more than 100 Indiana beers from craft brewers. Food trucks supply eats. 2 to 6 p.m. Sept 13, Headwaters Park West, 333 S Clinton St., Fort Wayne. Info: www.madbrew.com/content/fort-waynes-original-craft-beer-festival. Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the gate.
Don’t miss: Say Ok! Gears & Beers Pub Pedal, a pre-festival bicycle tour of downtown Fort Wayne watering holes. Tickets are available with the purchase of an Oktobeerfest ticket.
Monument Circle Oktoberfest:
German beer, German and American food. 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 19, Monument Circle. Some proceeds benefit the Indiana War Memorial and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument. Sponsored by Columbia Club. Info: www.columbia-club.org. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: A live performance by Polkaboy.
Upland Indy Oktoberfest:
A Munich-style beer tent rises in the middle of Downtown, featuring beer served in 1-liter steins. Indianapolis food trucks provide the menu. Live music. 1 to 9 p.m. Sept. 27, Military Park, 601 W. New York St. Info: www.uplandbeer.com/event/upland-indy-oktoberfest. Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door.
Don’t miss: The Life of Das Fest, Upland’s seasonal Oktoberfest Marzen-style lager. A wee hint of apple and oh so quaffable.
An art and music festival featuring German food and beer. Noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 27. Witten Park, 13578 E. 131st St. at Olio Road, Fishers. Info: fishersfreedomfestival.org. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: All the Leder-hosen and dirndl skirts at the 6:30 p.m. German fashion contest.
A huge street fair with local arts and crafts as well as brats, local beer, games, live music, crafts and a trike race. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28, Historic Depot District, 3645 E. Main St., Richmond. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: Ullery’s Ice Cream, a family-run business making old-fashioned ice cream. Try the butter pecan flavor in one of the company’s handmade waffle cones.
A German band, a baking contest, a biergarten and a 5K run/walk beforehand to work up an appetite for all that German food. A parade, carnival, talent contest, flea market and arts and crafts fair, too. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily Oct. 2-4, downtown Seymour. Info: www.seymouroktoberfest.com. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: The polka and chicken dance contests.
Holy Name Oktoberfest:
The church’s main fundraising event with lively entertainment including the Flying Toasters and Polkaboy. 5 p.m. to midnight Oct. 3 and 4, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 89 N. 17th Ave., Beech Grove. Info: holyname.cc/parish/oktoberfest. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: The Oct. 4 Notre Dame vs. Stanford game airing on five high-definition televisions in the beer garden area.
Herron-Morton Place Oktoberfest:
Food trucks, including Joy of All Who Sorrow Brats and Der Pretzel Wagon, serve German food, pizza and Indian food. Local mead and beer are on tap. 2 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4, 1927 N. Alabama St. Info: www.oktoberfesthmpf.com. Cost: $7.
Don’t miss: Your dog. Pooches are welcome.
Polkaboy performs while festival-goers enjoy food and entertainment. 6 p.m. Oct. 10, Carmel City Center, 720 S Rangeline Road, Carmel. Info: www.carmel.in.gov/index.aspx?page=631. Cost: Free admission.
Don’t miss: Bargains. Carmel City Center shops will offer specials during the event.
Original and Fabulous GermanFest:
Start with the OktoberFAST 5K race, move on to the yodeling contest, and then beer games and the Bavarian stone lift. Don’t forget German music, dancing, food and beers. Noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 11, Indianapolis Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan St. Info: www.athenaeumfoundation.org/theatre-buildingevents/germanfest. Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Don’t miss: The dachshund races. See if you can pick a wiener.
Traders Point Creamery Oktoberfest:
Grounds and barns showcase beer, wine and organic, seasonal food. Polkaboy performs. Proceeds benefit Traders Point Rural Historic District. Noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 11, Traders Point Creamery, 9101 Moore Road. Info: traderspointcreamery.com. Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at the gate.
Don’t miss: Hayrides, pony rides and cow-milking demonstrations.
Call Liz Biro at (317) 444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @lizbiro.
Local Oktoberfest tappings:
Much like Kentucky bourbon, only beer brewed in Munich is considered authentic Oktoberfestbier. But this is America, and flouting convention is our reason for being. Two local breweries will release their own Oktoberfest beers this fall, and each will fall within the accepted parameters of the style: amber-colored lagers with an alcohol-by-volume of 5 to 6.2 percent.
Sun King Oktoberfest tapping
• WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 4
• WHERE: The Rathskeller, 401 E. Michigan St.
• COST: Free entry
• INFO: www.sunkingbrewing.com
Triton Oktoberfest tapping
• WHEN: 5-10 p.m. Sept. 19
• WHERE: Triton Taproom, 5764 Wheeler Road
• COST: Free entry
• INFO: www.tritonbrewing.com