Celebrate autumn while experiencing a bit of transplanted Bavaria at Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus, and call Hotel Chicago here in River North your festival headquarters for the occasion!
There’ll be beer, brats, lederhosen, and dirndls aplenty for this 17th edition of one of the Windy City’s merriest events, coming up fast on September 28th, 29th, and 30th.
The Oktoberfest Tradition
You can likely picture some Oktoberfest visuals—the hefty mugs of beer, the traditional Bavarian dress, the plenitude of sausages—but fewer of us could pinpoint the tradition’s origin. It actually began as a wedding soiree, organized in Munich in October 1810 to mark the union of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Some 40,000 Munich citizens took part in the five-day party, which featured horse-racing popular enough to be repeated the next year—thus establishing the annual event.
Munich still lays claim to the very biggest Oktoberfest in the world: We’re talking better than six million celebrants each year.
Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus
Chicago’s Oktoberfest may not quite bring the numbers (or the historical weight) of Munich’s, but in hearty spirit it certainly lives up to the centuries-old tradition.
Among the highlights of the three-day festival is the Craft Beer Night that goes down Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 PM within St. Alphonsus Church’s “German beer hall.” It’s a chance to taste better than 40 kinds of craft beer while armed (of course) with a pretzel necklace.
And the younger crowd has its own fest-within-a-fest to enjoy courtesy of Kinderfest 2018 running 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday with face-painting, storytelling, polka-dancing, and other activities paired with fine German nibbles.
Speaking of polka, there’ll be plenty of it being performed to go along with your brats and brews courtesy of the Polkaholics and Ed Wagner’s Lustige Blaskapelle. The Oktoberfest Chicago music isn’t limited to the oompah variety, though: From 16 Candles to Rosie & the Rivets, from DT Funk to School of Rock, there’ll be a lot of sonic variety among the headliners, nonetheless very much unified in their desire to get folks moving.
Enjoy Hotel Chicago Accommodations for Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus This September
Don’t miss out on the Bavarian bash that is Oktoberfest Chicago: Join us at our Autograph Collection hotel in River North for the best in Windy City hospitality, and then go get your polka on over in West Lakeview this September!