One of Fredericksburg’s annual festivals brings a little bit of Bavaria to the Hill Country. Three days of singing, toasting, dancing and Gemütlichkeit will be featured at the 43rd Oktoberfest Friday, October 6-8, 2023.
Sponsored by the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance (PCAA), the family-oriented German event will take place at Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg. The event is expected to attract 1,400 volunteers and more than 23,000 visitors.
Oktoberfest received the following accolades in 2022:
- Only In Your State - Every Fall, This Tiny German Town In Texas Holds The Most Authentic Oktoberfest In America
- Points Guy - Prost! Here are the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in America
- Fodors - Can’t make it to Germany? Celebrate Oktoberfest in One of These Cities
- Trip Advisor - 7 of the Biggest and Best Oktoberfest Celebrations in the US
- Trip to Discover - Top 15 Oktoberfest Celebrations in the U.S.
- Travel Magazine - 12 of the Most Authentic Oktoberfests in the United States
- Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post - won Best Festival
As a result, the Oompah-pah echo of 41 previous years will carry over in the hearts and minds of people who have made the event an annual tradition, many who traversed hundreds of miles to attend. And for others, the event reminds them of
Gillespie County organizations and young people who accomplished artistic endeavors, thanks to Oktoberfest proceeds.
The engaging sights and sounds of the annual event are of Fredericksburg’s German heritage, harkening to the first Oktoberfest near Munich in 1810, and to 1981, when Oktoberfest was first held in Fredericksburg.
Oktoberfest offers something for everyone.
- OkTubaFest is at 5:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and will take place just inside the front gate. All tuba and euphonium players are invited to participate.
- Meet the Shiner (Spoetzl Brewery) brew master at 6 p.m. and Leinenkugel team at 7p.m.
- Altstadt Waltz Contest at 8:30 p.m.
- Rotary Kraut Run at 8:30 a.m. Includes both 5K and 8K runs as well as a non-timed 5K walk.
- Hauptstrasse (Main Street) Chicken Dance, registration at 9 a.m. and dancing at 9:30 a.m. There are prizes for the first 400 to register.
- Samuel Adams Stein Hoist at 1 p.m.
- Altstadt Keg Tapping at 4 p.m.
- Weihenstephan Polka Contest at 3:00 p.m.
- Hi-striker Competition at 5 p.m.
- Real Estate Advisory Team 42 Tournament in Strassen Zelt. Registration begins at noon and play begins at 1 p.m. Prizes will be given for the first-, second- and third-place teams.
- Oktoberfest Family Lederhosen and Dirndl Contest at 2:30 p.m. in Strassen Zelt.
Five covered stages will host a continuous parade of entertainers featuring German favorites of oompah, polka, and waltzes, with plenty of opportunities for dancing.
Bands scheduled to perform at the festival include Elzkrainer band (all the way from Germany), Czech & Then Some, Ennis Czech Boys, Chris Rybak, Seven Dutchmen, Walburg Boys, Sax Appeal, Swingin’ Dutchmen, The Oompahs, Isaak Klaus, Red Ravens, Czechaholics, Shirley Johnson, Comal Community Band, Cloverleaf Orchestra, Yodel Blitz, The Tubameisters, Schuhplattlers, Jodie Mikula Orchestra, Herschel Moody, Hermann Sons Mixed Choir & Arion Männerchor, Off The Grid, Cloverleafs, Polkamatics, Pivo & Polka Band, Fredericksburg Filharmonic, and Round Top Brass Band.
There will also be many other attractions for both adults and children to enjoy.
- Shopping: 30 juried artisans from across the state will fill two tents with their best arts and collectibles.
- Art: A select group of Hill Country artists will be selling their art.
- Food: An array of German and American food will be offered by over a dozen vendors.
- Drinks: Over 40 varieties of German, American, Texan and other imported beers will be offered.
- Children’s area: Youngsters can try their hand at six hi-strikers. There will also be other games and activities, including a magician and face painter.
PARK AND RIDE
Oktoberfest visitors can take advantage of a park and ride on Friday and Saturday. Parking will be available at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on October 6 and from 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 7.
The cost is $10 per person/day for adults and free for children six and under.
Park and ride tickets are available for advance purchase until September 29 at www.oktoberfestparkandride.com and will also be available at the fairgrounds parking location during the festival.
Since its inception in 1981, Oktoberfest has been presented by the PCAA, Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance. Community volunteers provide the labor, and all Oktoberfest proceeds are used for student scholarships, grants to
support the local arts, and the Marktplatz Concert Series, which is a free gift back to the community. This festival gives locals a place to honor their German heritage and visitors an opportunity to experience a long-standing Fredericksburg tradition.
HOURS AND ADMISSION
- Friday — 6 p.m. to midnight; Saturday — 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Admission: $10 for adults; $1 for children 7-12; Free for children 6 and under. Two-day passes — $15 for adults and $2 for children; Three-day passes — $20 for adults and $3 for children