You don’t need to wait as long to break out the Lederhosen and dirndl dresses this year, as the Columbus Oktoberfest is scheduled for Sept. 7-9.
The rain-or-shine, free admission event is being hosted in three covered pavilions at the Ohio Expo Center / Ohio State Fairgrounds, featuring two stages and dance floors. Marking its 50th year in Columbus, the 2018 Oktoberfest will include live polka music, a 4-mile run, Miss Oktoberfest contest, German games, food, karaoke, Giant Eagle Art & Craft Marktplatz and Merchant Market and kids’ events.
Oh, and beer. Oktoberfest will also include plenty of beer – or “bier,” if you’re the authentic type.
The first Oktoberfest celebration dates back to October 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married the Princess Theresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich. The spirited festivities have since been pushed up to September to take advantage of the warmer weather.
Closer to home, the Columbus version dates back five decades. After originating in Schiller Park, Oktoberfest moved to the Ohio Expo Center before traveling to multiple locations throughout German Village for a number of years before returning to its present location.
The breaking of the pretzel is Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Noon and the official kick-off party is Thursday, Sept. 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Hofbrauhaus Columbus.
This year’s Columbus Oktoberfest activities will include Kinderplatz, a free children’s area that will feature arts and crafts, bounce houses, children’s entertainers, face painting and a children’s parade at 4:00 p.m. Sunday.
The 10th annual Vier Meiler/Brat Trot run is 6:15 p.m. Friday.
Expect to find plenty of traditional German food to help soak up the suds. Among the meat and carbohydrate-rich options: bratwurst, frankfurters, potato salad, pork and sauerkraut, pretzels, cream puffs, potato cakes, pierogies, wiener schnitzle, spatzle, cabbage and noodles and more.
Columbus Oktoberfest hours are 5:00 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the event is free, although parking is $10 per car. Food and beverages will be sold by tickets only, sold in strips of 10 for $10.
Click here for a map and directions to the Ohio Expo Center.