Produced by the Germanic-American Institute (GAI), the St. Paul Oktoberfest is just like the Munich original – held in September – with beer imported directly from Munich and food from local German restaurants. With fun for the whole family, it’s a two-day celebration of German heritage and culture at the historic Schmidt Brewery.
Open on Friday, September 13, 4-10 p.m. and Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Schmidt Artist Lofts, 900 West Seventh, admission is FREE. ID and $5 wristband required for alcohol purchases. Kinder Carnival admission is $8. Proceeds support GAI’s mission to foster appreciation and understanding of the culture, language, arts, and on-going history of the German speaking peoples.
Opening Parade (Friday, 5 p.m.): St. Paul Oktoberfest begins with a horse-drawn beer wagon parade (der Festzug) to the festival grounds followed by a keg-tapping ceremony with local dignitaries (der Anstich) to officially kick off Oktoberfest. The parade leaves Mancini’s Restaurant at 5 p.m. and travels up West 7th Street to Schmidt Brewery. After the parade, the Pittman Percheron horses will be available for petting and photo ops until 8:30 p.m.
Steinheben (stone lifting) strong man competition (Saturday, 6 p.m.): The only competition of its kind in the US. Strongmen and women compete to see how high they can lift a 508-pound concrete “stone.”
Dachshund races (Saturday, 4 p.m.): Adorable dogs compete in hurdles and dashes. This surprisingly bold and tenacious breed was developed to flush badgers out of their burrows.
Kinder Carnival (Friday, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.): A kid-friendly carnival, complete with attractions by Affordable Inflatables. Admission: $8 per child for unlimited fun including performers and free face painting.
Beer Hall contests (Friday and Saturday): Held on the main stage.
19th Annual Bed Races (Saturday, 1 p.m.): Assemble a team of at least four people (one per bed post) and race the official bed.
Live music (Friday and Saturday): Traditional polka music by the Bill Koncar band, Dale Dahmen & The Beats. Other entertainment includes The Concord Singers, a traditional men’s chorus from New Ulm, the Edelweiss Dancers, and concertina virtuoso Josh Eidsor. Full entertainment schedule at
German beer and food (Friday and Saturday): Paulaner Oktoberfest beer can only be brewed in Munich. Courtesy of Paulaner USA, the kegs are on their way to St. Paul. Beers on tap this year: Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn (brewed once a year for Oktoberfest), Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen and Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Dunkel (dark). Authentic German fare from local restaurants including Black Forest Inn, Burbach’s European Pancakes, Venus Spaetzle Haus and K’nack.
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