In 1810, King Ludwig I of Bavaria proclaimed that the last sixteen days of September, ending with the first full weekend in October, shall be set aside for feasting and beer drinking to celebrate his upcoming wedding. To celebrate this tradition, The Old German Beer Hall, Westown Association and Milwaukee County Parks will celebrate a Bavarian Style Oktoberfest in Pere Marquette Park.
Marking the final weekend of the original festival in Munich, Milwaukee’s Oktoberfest celebration will be held 12-11pm on Friday, October 4th and Saturday, October 5th. An authentic festival tent and beer garden will be erected in the park. Hofbräu Oktoberfest Beer, the original beer of King Ludwig’s Royal Brewery, will be featured, along with traditional Bavarian foods including giant fresh baked pretzels, bratwurst, wieners and pork sandwiches.
Oktoberfest will kick off on Friday, October 4th at 12pm when Mayor Tom Barrett taps the official keg. Those on hand will receive a free beer while supplies last. The event will feature live music including headliners, The Squeezettes and Austrian Express.
On Saturday, October 5th at 3pm, a Bratwurst Eating Relay will be held where eight teams will compete in a bratwurst eating challenge. At 7pm on each night of the event, contestants can take place in a Masskreugstemmen contest where their endurance will be tested to see who can keep their arm extended the longest with a full 1 liter glass stein in hand.
Oktoberfest is a family friendly event. All persons attending the event over the age of 21 must purchase a wristband for $1 for each day of the festival. Wristbands will be available for purchase at all food and beverage outlets at the festival. A wristband is required for attendance regardless of whether or not one intends to consume alcohol. All persons under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a wrist-banded parent or legal guardian. Persons without wristbands and/or guardians are considered to be loitering and will be escorted from the event by security.
For more information on the Oktoberfest event, to see a schedule of events or sign up for a contest, please visit the official website- www.milwaukeeoktoberfest.org.