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Oktoberfest Events in Minnesota

There’s still time to feast on brews and brats at these German celebrations


Photo by Halfpoint/fotolia

Haven’t had your (beer stein) fill of Oktoberfest celebrations quite yet? There are still German-inspired festivities happening throughout the state. Whether you prefer to stay in town or take a trip to view the fall scenery, consider these events as you plan your Oktoberfest outing. Don’t forget your clogs and lederhosen!

Through October 29: Padelford Riverboats Oktoberfest Lunch Cruises
Feast on an authentic German meal complete with sausage, sauerkraut, German chocolate cake, and pretzels galore on the Mississippi. Cruises run every Saturday in October, and feature live polka music, beer specials, and games for all ages. Tickets for the cruise and lunch can be purchased online. (Harriet Island, 205 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd, St. Paul, riverrides.com)

October 5-9: Pelican Rapids Oktoberfest
Celebrate Oktoberfest with four days of games, food, and music at the 19th annual Pelican Rapids salute to German culture. Search for the Oktoberfest medallion, enjoy the “best of the wurst” sausage sampling, grab a pint, and bring a monster pumpkin to compete in the largest pumpkin contest. (Various locations, pelicanrapidschamber.com)

October 6-9: Docktoberfest
Excelsior Brewing Company’s annual Docktoberfest is back in full swing with a dozen live performances, a new Bitteschlappe Brown Ale recipe, and more food than you’ll know what to do with.  While they may be packing up the docks for the winter, there will be plenty of Gemütlichkeit to go around. (421 Third St. S., Excelsior, excelsiorbrew.com)

October 7-8: Gasthof Oktoberfest
Enjoy beer, dancing, and live polka music under the big tent during the last weekend of Gasthof Zur Gemütlichkeit’s popular Oktoberfest celebration. Save money by bringing your own beer mug, and treat yourself to authentic German fare including brats, BBQ ribs, apfelstrudel, smoked pork chops, sauerkraut, and more. (2300 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, gasthofzg.com)

October 7-8: Twin Cities Oktoberfest at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Sip on suds from local favorite, Summit, as well as Crispin Hard Cider and Pedroncelli wines. Listen, or dance, to live music (get ready to polka!) in the large, open space of the Progress Center, play games (Hammerschlagen), and indulge in traditional German food. Each ticket purchase includes a stein and your first fill. (1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, twincitiesoktoberfest.com)

Oct. 7-8, 14-15: New Ulm Oktoberfest
Head to the city with the most German heritage in the state. This celebration is modeled after the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany with entertainment and events happening throughout the entire town. Check out live music performed by hometown bands, dance the polka, drink beer from Schell’s Brewery, take a trolley ride, visit authentic specialty shops, take tours of local museums, and more, all while the 45-foot Glockenspiel chimes throughout New Ulm. (Various locations, newulmoktoberfest.com)

October 8: Gull Lake Pub Crawl
Gather some friends and sample Oktoberfest beer at seven different locations around Gull Lake. Tickets include a shuttle ride, beer samples at all locations, and a souvenir mug. Locations include Zorbaz on Gull, Grand View Lodge, Ernie’s, Cowboy’s, Jake’s, Bar Harbor, and Gull Dam Brewery. Shuttle service begins at 3 p.m. (Various locations, business.nisswa.com)

October 8: Pink Pumpkin Oktoberfest
This annual fundraiser benefits the Pay It Forward Fund, a nonprofit providing financial assistance to patients undergoing women’s cancer treatments. There will be live music by the Chmielewski Fun Time Band, a silent auction, raffle prizes, and dance lessons. Authentic German food and craft beer will be available as well. Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door), $5 for ages 8-18, and free for children 8 and under. (Mickman Brothers, Inc., 14630 Hwy. 65 NE, Ham Lake, facebook.com)

October 15: Oktoberfest at the Lodge
Come hungry and ready to celebrate everything German when you head up north to the Lodge on Lake Detroit. Enjoy a night of accordion music, an authentic German feast, and a variety of specialty Oktoberfest beers. Want free beer? Dress in traditional German garb and your first one’s on the house. Spend the weekend at the Lodge for a true Northwoods getaway. (1200 East Shore Dr., Detroit Lakes, thelodgeonlakedetroit.com)

October 21-23: Ruttger’s Oktoberfest
Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge in Deerwood (just outside Brainerd) is hosting an Oktoberfest event for all ages. Saturday and Sunday will begin with a breakfast buffet. Then browse the arts and crafts fair featuring more than 150 vendors, and participate in various kids’ activities. German music will round out the night as the harvest buffet dinner takes place. Stay the night at Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge to turn your celebration into a weekend event. (25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd., Deerwood, ruttgers.com)

October 22: Oktoberfest Beer Tasting and Dinner Cruise
Relax for a night on the St. Croix with Afton Hudson Cruise Lines and sample a huge selection of Oktoberfest beers. Dinner includes German favorites such as potato salad, spaetzle, bratwurst, and German chocolate cake. Dance the night away with the Huntsmen band and test your strength at the Hammerschlagen. (500 First St. Hudson, WI, stcroixrivercruises.com)

October 23: Cheesetober Fest at the Food Building
Amidst the German-themed fests throughout the month, The Food Building is hosting an event that’s a bit cheesy. Along with in-house cheese producer The Lone Grazer, other artisan cheeses will be available, and the menu includes fare such as mac & cheese made with noodles from Dumpling & Strand Noodlers at Large, garlic sausages from Red Table Meat Co., and cheese biscuits and pastries courtesy of Restaurant Alma. Enter the cheese raffle, enjoy live music, and also learn how to break open a giant wheel of cheese. (1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, facebook.com)


Katie Ballalatak, Derek Feuti, Catherine Stolz, and Valerie Turgeon contributed to this article.

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