Prost! Say ‘cheers’ to these DC-area Oktoberfest events

Traditionally, Oktoberfest is an annual celebration that is hosted from mid-September to early October in the Bavarian state in Germany. The festival originated on Oct. 12, 1810, and has continued ever since, with as much as approximately two million gallons of beer served each year.

For those in the D.C. area who are in search of Bavarian brunches, stein holding competitions and oompah bands, skip the long flight to Germany and instead consider the following local Oktoberfest events. 

For more autumnal events, check out WTOP’s list of 25 D.C.-area festivals for more of what you should look forward to in the coming months.


The Wharf’s Stein Hoisting Competition
Sept. 23 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Across The Wharf at participating restaurants

In the Southwest Waterfront, participating restaurants at The Wharf will allow their guests to go head-to-head in a test of strength with stein hoisting competitions. Restaurants that are participating include Boardwalk Bar & Arcade, Brighton SW1, Canopy Central, Cantina Bambina, Easy Company, H-Bar at Hyatt House, Kaliwa, Kirwans On The Wharf, Lucky Buns, Whiskey Charlie and Rappahannock Oyster Bar.

Wunder Garten’s Oktoberfest
Multiple dates, through Oct. 15,
1101 First Street NE in Washington, D.C.

NoMa’s popular beer garden is celebrating Oktoberfest for several weeks, through Oct. 15. Expect a variety of beers from some of Bavaria’s oldest breweries, such as Weihenstephan. Those who win at the stein holding games will have the chance to get prizes such as a three-hour cabana rental or a $100 drink tab. If dressed up in lederhosen or dirndls, guests all gussied up will get a 10% off discount on their first drink.

Prost’s Oktoberfest
Multiple dates, through Oct. 14
919 5th Street NW in Washington, D.C.

For several weeks, Prost is celebrating Oktoberfest with events such as Pup-toberfest on Oct. 2 with puppy prizes and “puppy bier,” plus a live music and dancing event on Oct. 14. Costumes are encouraged.

Café Berlin’s Oktoberfest
Multiple dates, through Oct. 15
322 Massachusetts Avenue NE in Washington, D.C.
Price varies

From pig roasts to Bavarian brunches to live music extravaganzas, Café Berlin is going all-out when it comes to Oktoberfest this year. The celebrations are on select dates in September and October, with a menu chock full of sausages, sauerkraut and schnitzel.


The Boro’s Oktoberfest
Sept. 30 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
8350 Broad Street in Tysons, Va.

For those in Northern Virginia in search of family-friendly events, this Oktoberfest celebration in Tysons, Virginia, offers plenty of activities. Expect face painting, glitter temporary tattoos, crafts and giveaways, plus the usual adult-only Oktoberfest activities, including a stein holding competition.

National Landing’s Oktoberfest
Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Corner of 22nd Street S and South Fern Street in Crystal City, Va.
$10 for general, preordered admission and $15 for day of general admission

Lift your steins and get ready for a day filled with competitions, live music and plenty of lagers to go around. Along with family-friendly activities, German music and bites from Crystal City Sports Pub, there will also be a “best dressed” competition. Guests who pay for their ticket ahead of time will receive a limited edition National Landing BID Stein and one drink ticket. 

Alexandria Bier Garden’s Oktoberfest
Oct. 7 from noon to 10 p.m.
710 King Street in Alexandria, Va.

All month long, this Old Town Alexandria bar will be hosting a plethora of Oktoberfest-focused events. On this day, those who visit can expect a stein holding contest with winners not only getting bragging rights, but a $50 gift certificate for later use. Those craving some German nosh can also expect two sausage specials, including a platter of nine sausages or a two-pound pretzel filled with six sausages.


Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Sept. 30 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Frederick Fairgrounds at 797 E Patrick Street in Frederick, Md.
Price varies

For one of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the region, look no further than Frederick’s Oktoberfest. There will be several stages with live music across this two-day event. A wide variety of German-style beers will also be served at an indoor fest hall and three outdoor tents. Guests who wear an authentic dirndl or lederhosen to the event have the chance for free admission. Friday is permitted only for those 21 years of age or older, while the event on Saturday is open to all ages.

Gaithersburg’s Oktoberfest
Oct. 8 from noon to 5 p.m.
301 Main St, Gaithersburg, Md.

For its thirtieth year, the community of Gaithersburg, will offer fall-themed and German-themed activities in a celebration that has drawn crowds as large as 30,000 to the Kentlands neighborhood in years past. On Oct. 8, guests can expect artisans and a business expo plus beer, food, live music and dancing that is sure to delight. 

Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of "D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for Artsplained on YouTube.

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