Servus! 8 Ways to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Illinois

in Arts & Culture, Activities
September 01, 2023

| words

Beer? Check. Brats? Yep. Games and other antics? Illinois' got you! Find these and more at Oktoberfest celebrations around Illinois.  

Peoria Oktoberfest, Peoria

German lessons, genealogy searches and Bavarian apparel for sale put a serious cultural spin on this party hosted by the German American Central Society. But it’s fun, too: Watch arm-strength contestants try to hold their steins and enjoy the hearty food and drink. 

Rotary Club of Quincy Oktoberfest, Quincy

No need to train for the 0.2K Beer and Brat Dash (it’s about two city blocks). Sample craft beers and tour tunnels and caverns at Dick Brothers Brewery. Take part in an Abendbrot, a traditional German communal dinner.

Galena Oktoberfest, Galena

Dogs have their day at this annual event, with three wiener-dog races on tap. Learn how to dance the polka and balance a beer stein. Kids get in on the fun, too, with a bounce house and pumpkin decorating.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest, Chicago

West Lakeview’s iconic church hosts a bash with brats and bands on two stages. Adults can sample 20 craft beers; admission includes a souvenir glass and pretzel necklace.

St. Mary’s Oktoberfest, Alton

A sweet sweepstakes is the big draw, typically with a $10,000 grand prize and several four-figure awards. And if the live music, brews and brats don’t win you over, indulge in German cookies, Bavarian cream puffs and Apfelkuchen (apple cake).

Palatine Oktoberfest, Palatine

Feast on schnitzel and spaetzle, drink Hacker-Pschorr (a traditional Oktoberfest beer) and dance to live music under a a big heated tent. Expect good food, good beer, good music, and lots of family friendly festival type things to do.

Hoffman Estates Platzkonzert, Hoffman Estates

A wiener-eating contest, live tunes and a Munich-style beer garden highlight this suburban Chicago celebration. Pair Bavarian brews with giant pretzels slathered in mustard or cheese.

Jacksonville Oktoberfest, Jacksonville 

Besides brews, wiener-dog races, food and tunes, compete in the washers and bags tournament. It all happens at the Morgan County Fairgrounds west of Springfield.

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