Attendance was abundant at Cleveland’s Oktoberfest over Labor Day weekend at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio. For those Clevelanders who didn’t get their fill of German music, food, dance and beer or who are looking for another good excuse for a weekend jaunt, check out one of Michigan’s oldest cultural events — the 25th annual Oktoberfest being held in Frankenmuth from Thursday, September 18 through Sunday, September 21. It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland.
Frankenmuth Oktoberfest The only Oktoberfest outside of Germany that has been sanctioned by the city of Munich, the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest will be held at the city’s Heritage Park. Historic Note: Frankenmuth, nicknamed “Little Bavaria,” was founded in 1845 as a mission colony by German Lutherans. The first Oktoberfest took place in 1990 in honor of the Berlin Wall coming down.
Most of the activities at the Oktoberfest will take place at the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion, a scaled-down version of an authentic German beer hall with 5000 seats. German bands will be playing throughout the 4-day event and the beer will be flowing.
Official sponsor of the Fest is Munich German-based brewer, Hofbrauhaus. There will be plenty of dancing on the 68 foot by 60 foot wooden dance floor.
A showcase event at the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest will be the Wiener Dog Races being held on Saturday, September 20 at noon. Between 50 and 100 dachshunds are expecting to be competing in various races. Prizes will be awarded. Each contestant receives two free tickets to Oktoberfest and a free gift.
Authentic German food will be abundant. Selections include bratwurst with sauerkraut, German potato salad, buttered spaetzle, sweet & sour cabbage and German chocolate cake.
Other food items available for purchase include frankfurters, pizza, French fries, chili, nachos, homemade potato chips and Bavarian Inn pretzels.
Hours for the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest are 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, noon – midnight on Friday and Saturday and noon – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults (Thursday – Saturday). Children 12 and under are free. Admission for everyone on Sunday is free.
For those guests who wish to stay overnight, check out the Bavarian Inn Lodge (888-775-6343), the Drury Inn & Suites (989-652-2800), Springhill Suites (888-287-9400), the Marv Herzog Hotel (989-652-4700) or Fairfield Inn (800-228-2800). Call for pricing and availability or to make reservations.
For more information about the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest call 800-FUN FEST or get online at www.frankenmuthfestivals.com.
The Oktoberfest will be held at Heritage Park located at 601 Weiss St. in Frankenmuth, Michigan. It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland (90 miles north of Detroit off I-75 Exit 136).