Whether you are looking to experience German heritage or celebrating the beginning of fall with some cold beers and ciders, we have you covered with a list of the best festivals in Iowa for Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest Des Moines
Returning for its 17th year Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, the Des Moines Oktoberfest will bring its authentic German celebrations to Downtown Des Moines. Rain or shine, the festival will feature a vast selection of German and local craft brews, authentic German tastes, a silent disco party, live music and much more! Festival-goers who attend in authentic German attire will be awarded prizes, and those who bring their own pint-beer glasses on Saturday can enter free. Otherwise, admission at the gate is $15. The event is 21-plus.
To learn more about Oktoberfest in DSM and purchase tickets, visit oktoberfestdsm.com.
With free admission, Dubuque is hosting Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A donation to camp Albrecht Acres in exchange for admission is encouraged. The festival will feature thrilling Weiner dog races, live musical performances, authentic German food, games and much more. The event is family-friendly and will take place at Back Waters Stage at Q Casino.
For more information on Dubuque Oktoberfest, visit dbqoktoberfest.org.
Amana Colonies Oktoberfest
The 56th-annual Amana Oktoberfest in Amana Colonies is bringing a weekend of German celebrations to Iowa on Oct. 1 to Oct. 3. The festivities are perfect for all ages and bring traditional German tastes, brews and music. In addition, Amana will also cater local eateries, wines and craft brews (including the fan-favorite Amana brats). A Bavarian-themed parade will make its way through the grounds, and admission on Sunday is free.
To learn more about Amana Colonies Oktoberfest, visit amanacolonies.com.
The two-day family-friendly festival begins on Friday, Oct. 1, at Waverly’s Kohlmann Park. Enjoy a day of beer gardens featuring a selection of local craft beer and German staples, food trucks, live music, Polka dance lessons, keg-tossing competitions and much more. Visitors who stay until evening can enjoy a vibrant firework display over the Cedar River.
For more information on Waverly Oktoberfest, visit www.waverlyoktoberfest.com.
Northside Oktoberfest brings more than its day-long festival to Northside Marketplace, but also brings the festival to those who would like to celebrate from home with its “Northside Oktoberfest in a Box,” complete with 12 Old World classic beers, hand-selected by Iowa Cities “Bier Guy,” $60 in gift cards to local eateries, a fine wine selection and cheese platter from Brix Wine & Cheese, a take-and-bake pizza and much more. The in-person festivities on Oct. 2 will feature an exclusive beer garden tasting, local eats, live music and much more. All of the proceeds from Northside’s Oktoberfest will be donated to Iowa city nonprofits and local organizations.
To purchase tickets and learn more about Northside Oktoberfest, visit downtowniowacity.com.