Put on your lederhosen – it’s time for Tulsa Oktoberfest! Smoked bratwurst, stout German beer, live bands, Bavarian cheesecake, polkas – this annual Oktoberfest is recognized as one of the nation’s very best. Start practicing the Chicken Dance – flap your wings and shake your tailfeathers! This famous group dance was introduced to the U.S. at the 1981 Tulsa Oktoberfest, and you’re going to want to participate in this boisterous tradition!
This year’s Oktoberfest dates are October 20-23, 2011, and the venue remains the same in Tulsa’s downtown. One of downtown’s shining features is its magnificent River Parks, adjacent to both banks of the Arkansas River. Visitors and Tulsans enjoy walking and biking its pathways, as well as attending events such as Oktoberfest at River West Festival Park. There are plenty of nearby hotels, making it convenient to get to the fest, and there is also a shuttle available which eliminates the need for parking fees and driving.
The traditional tapping of the keg opens the festivities on Thursday evening, when the fun officially begins. Over 25 different beers are on tap, including Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, Spaten Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Dunkel and Franconia Dunkel, along with Bud Light, Blue Moon and Miller Lite among others. Bring your appetite, because there will be authentic German cuisine, including traditional favorites schnitzel, giant soft pretzels, and bratwurst from Siegi’s Sausage Factory – yum! Over a dozen vendors will be on hand, and they will provide other fair-type foods as well. Bring cash or a credit card to purchase Oktoberfest food and drink tickets to pay for your selections.
Friday offers free entrance from 11 am to 4 pm, with hours extending until 11:30 pm. More than 25 entertainers will be on hand to keep things lively. The Bier Garten Main Tent bands include Die Wilderer, Koa Limit and the Polkatimers; three other tent stages offer everything from German and local Oklahoma bands, to Turtle Creek Cloggers and the Theater Art Dance Troupe, to a German Folk Dance Group and Hula Halu O 'Leilani. The festival is family-friendly, offering children magic, science, circus and puppet shows at a Children’s Tent.
Saturday and Sunday kick it up a notch with popular annual events you won’t want to miss. The Bier Barrel Race is at 1 pm on Saturday, with a Stein Race at 3 pm and a Pretzel Toss at 4 pm. Sunday’s highlight is the Wiener Dog Race at 1 pm and another Stein Race at 3 pm. Saturday’s festival lasts into the night, with beer flowing and continuous music, and lots of polka dancing. The festival concludes at 6 pm on Sunday.
Over 60 arts and crafts vendors offer Oktoberfest guests a selection of handmade items and authentic German wares, including jewelry, stoneware steins, clocks and clothing. Everyone knows it’s football season, so simmer down – you can watch your favorite sporting events and enjoy cold beer at Das Sports Café which boasts a Big Screen.
Tulsa Oktoberfest is non-profit, with proceeds benefiting River Parks Authority.
Admission for adults is $6, with children 12 and younger admitted for free! Pets are allowed on the festival grounds on a leash. Check the Tulsa Oktoberfest website for complete details.
Tulsa International Airport (TUL) makes it easy to fly into the city, and its I-44 setting makes it easy to reach by car as well. While in Tulsa, you might enjoy visiting Mohawk Park, the third largest municipal park in the country – it is home to The Tulsa Zoo and the Oxley Nature Center. Philbrook Museum of Art, housed in an Italian Renaissance-style villa, is quite popular, and you can always try your luck at one of three local casinos.
Oktoberfest, Tulsa, and fun times go hand-in-hand. Make plans to visit one of the best festivals in the country - it’s going to be vergnugen (a good time)!
With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For Tulsa Oktoberfest, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book a Tulsa, OK hotel and air package deal. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Tulsa OK discount hotels at the lowest prices. If you are budget-minded, check out our Tulsa OK Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.