Find your perfect Oktoberfest


Celebraate Oktoberfest with German food and beer at The Berghof fin Chicago and at Oktoberfests around the city. Photo courtesy of The Berghoff)
Celebraate Oktoberfest with German food and beer at The Berghof fin Chicago and at Oktoberfests around the city. Photo courtesy of The Berghoff)


Background:  It all started with Ludwig I. Born in 1786 in Strasbourg, France on the border with Alsace, Germany, (becoming king in 1825), Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on Oct.12, 1810.

Thus, the Oktoberfest to beat all others today started in 1810 to celebrate their marriage. It takes place Sept. 17 through Oct. 3 on the Theresienwiese, a fairground that held the original fields where Ludwig had invited citizens to gather for the wedding celebration. But that is a long name, so the fairgrounds are also called d’Wiesn and the type of beer drunk at Oktoberfest there is also calaled Wiesn.

So, travel to Munich for the longest running Oktoberfest and find out more about it at Oktoberfest de/information .

Or visit one of the following Oktoberfests in and near Chicago, beginning this weekend.


Sept 9-11 – German American Oktoberfest At Lincoln Square in Chicago, it is held by the United German-American Societies of Greater Chicago. A no fee event, it features entertainment, dancing and authentic German Gementuchkeit (food) in tents at Lincoln and Leland Avenues. Its annual Steuben Parade is Sept. 10, 2 p.m. at Lincoln and Irving Park Rd.

Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Sept 9, with opening ceremony at 8 p.m., noon to 11 p.m. Sept. 10 and noon to 10 Sept. 11.


Sept. 15-Oct. 8 The Berghoff Oktoberfest

The longtime German restaurant at 17 W. Adams St., Chicago, is celebrating Oktoberfest with German music and beer. See the menu (and get a pretzel) and full music schedule, Thursday-Saturday at Berghoff Oktoberfest.


Sept 16-18 – Palatine Oktoberfest 

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Palatine as a fundraiser, the Oktoberfest is a free event but money raised supports local charities. The fest features German food, music, beer and wine.

Hours: Family Day with face painting and other activities is Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. German music is 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.  The event is under a large, heated tent downtown Palatine.


Sept. 23-25 – Oktoberfest Chicago.  

Rated among the 10 best Oktoberfests by USA today in 2015, the event is hosted by St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 Wellington Ave. in tghe West Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Admission is $10.  It features food, beer tastings and music on two stages.

Hours: 5-10 Friday, noon – 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, for specific band times and other information visit Oktoberfest Chicago.


Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 – Naper Settlement Oktoberfest

 Held in Naperville west of Chicago, the event benefits the town’s Naperville Heritage Society/Naper Settlement, a large, walkable historic patch of “yesterday.” The event is in a large tent near the Naper settlement for food, dancing and entertainment by polka and classic rock bands. Admission is $20 adults and $15 children 4-12 . Find food choices and drinks at Oktoberfest Menu.. Hours: Sept. 30, 5-10 p.m., Oct. 1, 3-10 p.m. 

Oompa! Prost!

Jodie Jacobs