It’s that time of year when everybody’s German—or wants to be. While the mother fest in Munich isn’t happening this year due to the continuing pandemic, many of Colorado’s favorite Oktoberfest festivals are returning this fall, Whether you choose to keep it local or follow the fall colors into the mountain towns, there’s a full schedule of options running all of September and into October. Here is a guide for German celebrations and libations in the Springs and beyond. Just be sure to keep a close eye on event websites and social media for last-minute changes, requirements, restrictions or cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic. Now get out those lederhosen and dirndl and get going!
Pikes Peak Region
Sept. 8 – Oct. 21
Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Cañon City
Willkommen an bord der bier train! A one-and-a-half to two-hour train ride through the spectacular Royal Gorge features fall color and a three-course lunch or dinner. The bar car is stocked with Oktoberfest beers, and you take home a complimentary Royal Gorge glass to commemorate the occasion.
Colorado Springs Oktoberfest
Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Colorado Springs
Live oompah music, wiener dog races, costume and stein-hoisting contests and more make for an ongoing Oktoberfest vibe in Colorado Springs. Pick your package and you can enjoy Warsteiner and other beers from a stein or das boot. And you can take a deeper Bavarian dive by upgrading your experience with tickets to Beer School, a German Vineyard Wine Tour or Schnapps School. Admission is free. Parking is $10, and you’ll pay for beer, stein and experience tickets.
Rocky Mountain Oktoberfest
Ute Pass Cultural Center, Woodland Park
Head up Ute Pass to Woodland Park for a family-friendly Rocky Mountain-style twist on the German fest, including country, jazz and rock, as well as the traditional German music.
This authentic Bavarian festival on the northern Front Range is hosted, appropriately, by Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. You’ll find lots of other Loveland breweries too, along with all the stein hoisting, costume contests, games and live music you can pack into a weekend.
Sept. 17-19 and 24-26
2100 Larimer St, LoDo
Now in it’s 51st year, the Denver Oktoberfest is one of the country’s longest-running. Head to the Mile High City for two weekends of costume contests, live music, stein-hoisting contests, keg bowling and more.
O’Brien Park, Parker
Those living on the north side of the Springs will find it an easy drive to Parker for plenty of polka dancing and a traditional biergarten pouring Paulaner. You’ll also find Dachshund races, cornhole tournaments and a kids stage with princess plays and Grimm Brothers’ fairytale spinoffs. The first 100 people each day get a free beer stein.
Denver Kickers Oktoberfest
Denver Kickers Sport Club, Golden
The local soccer club throws the party for Golden. It’s a weekend of live music, folk dancing, stein hoisting, costume contests and all things Bavarian.
Castle Rock Oktoberfest
Wilcox Square, Downtown Castle Rock
The Castle Rock festival includes a street fair, food trucks, family games and the libations of local and regional craft brewers. Catch the free trolley shuttle service, so you can focus on your sampling.
Celebrate with plenty of northern Colorado brewers, distillers and food vendors. Expect lots of live music, from polka to the UNC Jazz Lab 1 Band and more. Saturday will be filled with harvest season games and activities for kids.
Sept. 10-12 and 17-19
Lionshead and Vail Village, Vail
Two weekends of Oktoberfest fun include full schedules of Bavarian music, yodeling, keg bowling, a bratwurst-eating contest and more. Dance during the free concerts on Saturday nights, and let the kids play in the family zones. Vail Oktoberfest has been named one of USA Today’s Top 10 Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S.
Wildhorse Marketplace, Steamboat Mountain Village
Celebrate craft beer with about 30 brewers from Colorado and beyond. This one is more brewfest than Bavarian, but you’ll still see plenty of leiderhosen and dirndl.
Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge
The traditional mega fest will be dramatically downsized to a ticketed event without the usual street party. So you’d better get your tickets early. You’ll still find a Munich-like experience with music by the Polkanauts and plenty of Bavarian themed beer and cuisine, including the delicious Brewmaster Dinner and Oktoberfeast. Yes, you can still play games including Hammerschlagen—a curiously conceived game that pairs throwing hammers and drinking beers. And the kids can enjoy music, crafts and harvest season games at Fall Family Fair in the Breck Creative Arts District. Special note: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is required.
La Veta Oktoberfest
Main Street, La Veta
It’s about an 1:40 drive down to Huerfano County, where La Veta will be turning itself German for the day. You’ll find a biergarten, live music, street dancing, plus arts and crafts, a Jeep exhibition, hot rod show and veteran’s tribute.
Cerise Park, Montrose
Head for the Western Slope to take in some prime fall color and celebrate all things Bavarian in Montrose. It’s a great way to sample live music, local food and the best breweries on the Western Slope.