Where To Celebrate Oktoberfest This Year
Attend the city’s biggest Oktoberfest party or take a road trip to Montana
The Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish, Montana
Photograph by Pete Siudara
It’s that time of year. It’s Oktoberfest, the 16-day festival that’s travelled here all the way from Munich. If you’re looking to celebrate with a German craft beer in one hand and a weisswurst in the other, here are eight events to consider attending before the festival ends at the beginning of October.
(Or, if neither beer nor sausage sound appealing, celebrate Oktoberfest at Spruce Meadows instead.)
If you make it to no other Oktoberfest event this year, make a point of attending the two-day festival at the BMO Centre. Sample a variety of German beers from the Bavarian themed booths, learn how to pair these European brews with cheese or chocolate and dine on appropriately German food from restaurants such as Wurst. As Oktoberfest is a celebration of local beers, local breweries are also celebrated at Calgary Oktoberfest.
Sep. 26 and 27, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., single day tickets $19, BMO Centre Halls A and B, calgaryoktoberfest.com
Make Oktoberfest a weekend getaway and drive to Whitefish, Montana. The Great Northwest Oktoberfest takes place over two weekends, both at the end of September and the beginning of October. The incredibly affordable admission price gets attendees all-day access to the Bigtop to purchase German beer and food.
The real appeal of this festival is the German music and the crazy contests such as log sawing, keg throwing and waitress races.
Sep. 25, 26, 27 and Oct. 2, 3, 4; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., $4 admission, Depot Park, whitefishoktoberfest.com
If you’re planning on celebrating in Drumheller, you’ll need to wear your stretchy lederhosen because tickets to this event include a German inspired buffet dinner – bring on the schnitzel and the spaetzle. Dinner is followed by music and dancing.
Oct. 4, from 6 p.m., $50, Drumheller Badlands Community Facility, allevents.com
Just for this two-week celebration, National is expanding their menu to include German classics, all of which pair perfectly with Bavarian beers.
Until Oct. 5, regular restaurant hours, all four National locations, ntnl.ca
From now until October 5, Craft Beer Market is holding their inaugural Oktoberfest. Order steins of German beer (try the Erdinger Weissbier, the Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold or the six pack sampler) and pair it with featured food. The pretzel wrapped bratwurst ($16) is a particularly authentic appetizer.
Until Oct. 5, regular restaurant hours, Craft Beer Market, craftbeermarket.ca
If Oktoberfest for you is more about the beer and less about the Germanic atmosphere, register for one of Co-op Wine and Spirits’ Oktoberfest events. Taking place on what is traditionally the final weekend of Oktoberfest, choose to sample brews from their selection of more than 400 craft beers. There are also Bavarian snacks to nibble on.
Oct. 2 and 4, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., $25, Oakridge Co-op (Oct. 3) and Crowfoot Co-op (Oct. 4), coopwinespiritsbeer.com
Toronto brewery Steam Whistle hosts a traditional Oktoberfest party at Wurst. Expect an evening of German music and beer in the German-inspired pub. What’s great about this event is that the price of the ticket includes food, one drink and a litre ceramic stein.
Oct. 4, 8 p.m., from $15, Wurst, steamwhistle.ca
It can hardly get more authentic than this. For authentic European food and entertainment, attend the Oktoberfest dinner and dance at the Austrian club. Here, traditional Austrian atmosphere meets jgerschnitzel and plum dumplings.
Oct. 17 and 18, $46, Austrian-Canadian Society and Cultural Centre Calgary, austrianclub.ca