No need to book a plane ticket to Munich to enjoy an Oktoberfest as genuine as that found in Germany: All the polka, bier, wurst, and hunds you crave await you in Addison, home to the Oktoberfest recognized as one of the most authentic this side of the Atlantic. Now celebrating its 35th year, Addison Oktoberfest rolls out the barrels and hoists the steins September 15-18, at Addison Circle Park.
Four days are required to pack in all the music, food, drink, fun and games that make this a party bringing thousands of revelers to town. Truthfully, you’d need a week to sample all the tasty brews — starting with Paulaner, which you can sip from a souvenir glass stein or special light-up mug, if you like — and food. Delicious bites come from The BratHaus, Siegi’s Sausage Factory, The SpatzleHaus, and Helmut’s Strudel, among others. Check out the options to purchase via mobile ordering, letting you skip the line, which never expire.
Within Addison Oktoberfest, find several different venues with distinctive attractions; think of this as several festivals in one — lederhosen and dirndls optional. At the open-air tent called the Partyhalle, there are more than 1,000 seats, a dance floor (Chicken Dance, anyone?), keg-tapping, and stein-hoisting challenge. In the Paulaner Biergarten, umbrella-shaded seating lets you watch the Bier Maiden Stein Carrying, Biergarten Bingo and Bier Barrel Rolling. At the Musikzelt, the outdoor music stage, entertainment is non-stop. Relax in the Kleinhalle, located inside the air-conditioned Addison Conference Centre, with live music and table service for food and drink. Catch all the football games on big screens in the Draught Haus Biergarten, where you can order beer and brats to your heart’s content. For family fun, head to the Kinderzelt, where craft-making, air-brush tattoos, and kids’ games keep younger patrons entertained.
A big favorite awaits on Sunday Hund-day, when the Dachshund Dash brings short, four-legged competitors to race (advanced, online registration is required to participate). Head to the German Dog Showcase, happening in the Partyhalle, to meet several dog breeds particular to Germany. For retail therapy, make tracks to the Marktplatz to buy authentic German clothing and hats, handcrafted items, specialty gifts, jewelry, bath and skin products, and artwork from dozens of vendors.
Make plans now! Check out Addison Oktoberfest hotel packages, which combine special nightly accommodation rates with general admission tickets, beverage tokens, commemorative lapel pins, and specially branded beer steins. General admission tickets are $10 for individuals ages 10+ for Friday and Saturday at the gate, while admission is free for everyone on Thursday and Sunday. The $40 Addison Oktoberfest Paket includes a Friday-Saturday pass, commemorative beer stein and lapel pin, and two beverage tokens. The Spectrum Partyhalle Deck deal is $200 per table on Thursday and $300 Friday or Saturday, and includes admission, commemorative steins and lapel pins, and beverage tokens for 8, plus reserved seating. Parking is free at four garages and at the DART Transit Center. Find all deals and information at addisonoktoberfest.com. Prost to 35 years!