It’s time to break out the dirndls and lederhosen, sharpen your barrel rolling skills and get ready for two weekends packed with live music, food and family fun as Oktoberfest presented by Yuengling celebrates its 5th anniversary this fall. The festival, which takes place at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, is set for Oct. 2-4 and 9-11 and is free to attend.
At Oktoberfest, guests are greeted by the spectacular sounds of the alphorn and the entertaining Schuhplattler German dancers. The festival is known for its fun-filled games and activities, with attendees invited to take part in stein races, barrel rolling competitions, quoits and even Masskrugstemmen, the German test of strength and endurance in which individuals hold two full mugs of beer straight in front of them for as long as they can.
Other highlights of Oktoberfest include live music on two stages, with artists ranging from polka groups like John Stevens’ Doubleshot, Polka Dan’s Beetbox Band and the Philadelphia German Brass Band, to Siberian surf-rockers Igor & the Red Elvises and dance, rock and party bands like M80, UUU and Alakazam. New this year are performances by Lehigh Valley Meistersingers Oct. 10 and the Lancaster Liederkranz Hobby Chor Oct. 11. Both groups will be roaming the Oktoberfest grounds singing traditional German songs. In addition, festival guests can also enjoy a variety of delicious food and beverages including schnitzel, strudel, wursts and Yuengling’s popular Oktoberfest beer.
Attractions this year include:
Brewers Village – Oct. 2 and 9, 7 p.m., and Oct. 3 and 10 at 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Sample over 25 different beers by Pennsylvania’s award-winning craft breweries (admission ticket required for this attraction; see www.steelstacks.org/oktoberfest)
Oktoberfest Keg Tap – Oct. 2, 9 p.m.
Join D.G. Yuengling & Son President Dick Yuengling to officially kick off the festival at the Yuengling Festhalle Tent.
Penn State vs. Army Football Viewing Event – Oct. 3, Time TBA – on the Levitt Pavilion screen
Oktoberfest 5k – Oct. 4, 10:30 a.m.
Welcome in autumn with this popular race through the streets of Bethlehem; register at www.oktoberfestrace.com
Dachshund Races – Oct. 4 and 11, 3 p.m.
Sign up your dog today at www.steelstacks.org/oktoberfest; $15 registration fee required
Celebrity Skills Challenge, Oct. 10, noon
Featuring local celebrities competing in fun-filled games like the brat toss and barrel rolling.
Be one of the first people in the gates and you’ll get a great gift:
Oct. 3: Chevy 21 Drawstring Backpacks to the first 200 visitors
Oct. 4: Think Energy Drawstring Backpacks to the first 500 visitors
Oct. 10: Raven One to One Marketing kooze to first 250 visitors
Family Fun – Have the kids try the new Zip Line (first weekend only) and bounce house, pumpkin painting, bean bag toss & more
Oktoberfest presented by Yuengling general festival hours are Fridays, 5-10 p.m.; Saturdays, noon-10 p.m.; and Sundays, noon-8 p.m. Partners helping to support the free festival include D.G. Yuengling & Son, as well as Adams Outdoor Advertising, Beck Packaging, Chevy 21, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, Think Energy and 99.9 The Hawk. For more information, visit www.steelstacks.org/oktoberfest.