OKTOBERFEST: AUTHENTIC, FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
The original Oktoberfest is a 16-18-day folk festival in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Keystone Festivals is bringing the spirit of the authentic Oktoberfest to Colorado on August 31st. Not only will traditional food be served alongside delicious beer, but the event will be in the beautiful River Run in Keystone, CO, with aspen covered mountains in the background.
Learn 15 ways to celebrate the first Colorado Oktoberfest of the season. Everything you need to know, from learning some basic German, to what to wear is covered in this exclusive tip sheet for Keystone Festival’s Oktoberfest on August 31st! Spend your Labor Day weekend in Keystone!
#1 SPRUCE UP ON OKTOBERFEST HISTORY
The original Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany and runs from mid-September to the first weekend in Oktober. Over six million people attend each year and join in the parades, food, and music that are part of the Volksfest (aka beer and traveling festival funfair). Besides Oktoberfest in Germany, Oktoberfest is celebrated all over the world everywhere from Brazil, Palestine, and Montreal.
#2 PURCHASE AN AUTHENTIC OKTOBERFEST STEIN
A stein is a traditional beer mug that is typically glass or made out of stoneware. How could you attend a German festival and not get a commemorative 2019 Oktoberfest stein to drink beer out of? The stein is $35 and includes 3 16oz New Belgium Craft beers with only $5 refills after your first 3. Sounds like a deal to us!
#3 TRAIN FOR DAS BIER BURNER 5K
Since we’ve all been working on our summer bods, it is the perfect time to do a 5k at Keystone’s Oktoberfest. This unique and fun race starts at noon on Saturday, August 31st and ends with an awards ceremony leading straight into all the festivities at Keystone Oktoberfest. There will even be prizes to winners in all different categories. Start running today to prepare!
#4 PRACTICE YOUR STEIN HOISTING
One of the best parts of Oktoberfest is the activities! Keystone’s Stein Hoisting starts at 5:15 the day of Oktoberfest, and kids will be able to participate beforehand at 5:00 with a Root Beer Hoisting Contest! Start practicing by seeing how long you can hold a heavy glass 24 ounces to be exact, so you can win the contest in August.
#5 LEARN SOME GERMAN
It is always fun to learn other languages, so here are a few German basics to really help you get into the Oktoberfest mood and feel as authentically German as possible. There is more vocabulary at Language Helpers online, but the basics are below (obviously you need to know how to ask for a beer!).
- Good afternoon= Guten Tag!
- No= Nein
- Yes= Ja
- Thank you= Danke
- You’re welcome/ please= Bitte
- I’d like a beer please= Ich möchte bier, bitte!
#6 STAY THE NIGHT
Especially if you plan to run the Das Bier Burner 5k, you should consider spending the night in beautiful Keystone before or after the festival. As summer is ending, lodging rates will be skyrocketing, and the weather will become more and more tumultuous. Not to mention that we have some amazing rates for your Labor Day Weekend from Keystone Lodging and Summit Cove Lodging… they are definitely worth checking out!
#7 EXPLORE THE RIVER RUN MERCHANT TENT SALE
Who doesn’t love a good tent sale? Keystone River Run Merchants Keystone Sports, Rockin R’ Ranch, Arriesgado, Christy Sports, Kidz Cabin, Shirt Off My Back, Surefoot, The Colorado Shop, and North Face will be joining together to sell mountain gear, clothes and much more. Save your shopping for Oktoberfest in Keystone and make sure to leave extra room in the car for all the sale goodies you find.
#8 BRING YOUR KIDS TO KINDERFEST
One of the best parts about Keystone’s Oktoberfest is that is it kid-focused and inclusive! Kinderfest is German for Children’s Day, so bring kids of all ages to celebrate and learn about German culture with you! There will be free face painting, make it (then eat it) pretzel necklace creating and even polka lessons from the Bavarian Schuhplattlers! Not to mention the Cave of Confusion will be back to entertain and wonder kids of all ages.
#9 CHECK OUT LOCAL GERMAN EATERIES
Good German beer and food is hard to come by when you are over 5,000 miles away from the source, but Ein Prosit is a German beer hall located in Frisco, Colorado. They offer a full bar, over 30 bottles of Bavarian and Belgium beer and authentic German sausages.
Our recommendation is to stop by sometime after the festival so you can enjoy your German food and beer longer than just one day.
#10 FIND SOME LEDERHOSEN
We don’t want you to feel left out! Lederhosen are usually shorts with suspenders that are typically worn in Bavaria (the heart and origin of Oktoberfest). Men and boys typically wear lederhosen while women wear a dirndl. Dirndl is a dress with a bodice and skirt and a low-cut blouse with puffy sleeves underneath. We know you all love dressing up, so find something that makes Oktoberfest more fun for you to wear and show off your outfit at the festival in August!
#11 DON’T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS
Part of going to any festival is knowing you are prepared for just about anything. We recommend bringing:
- Your ID (If you are 21 or older)
- A rain jacket (better safe than sorry on this one)
- Your German attire (see above)
- Your wallet
- Dancing shoes
- A water bottle
#12 GET READY TO POLKA
Have you ever wondered what polka dancing is? It originated in Eastern Europe in the first half of the 19th century, according to dancefacts.net. It is an amusing, energetic and fast-paced dance that involves hopping around with a partner in tune with joyous polka music.
The Bavarian Schuhplattlers will be performing polka dance routines from 3:00- 3:30 in the River Run Village in Keystone, CO. Don’t miss them the day of the event and make sure to practice your polka at home before Oktoberfest so you can show off your skills to your friends.
#13 LEARN THE RULES OF GERMAN BEER
To be traditional German beer, there are rules. It all goes back to 1516 when the Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity Law was instituted. The first law states that the ONLY ingredients that are allowed in the production of beer are water, barley, and hops (yeast was not discovered yet). Now, the law includes malted grains, hops, water, and yeast are allowed.
You learn something new every day, folks! The beer at the festival will be from New Belgium. In addition to 8 unique beers from the Fort Collins based brewery, their New Belgium – Belgium White is the most popular keg of the day!
#14 CHECK THE WEATHER BECAUSE FALL IS COMING
The end of August in Keystone, Colorado, is usually beautiful and sunny with temperatures in the low 70’s. As September approaches, temperatures drop, and the leaves start to turn their perfectly golden hues.
2019 weather in Colorado has kept all of us guessing. Check the weather the day before Oktoberfest festival to ensure you dress appropriately and make sure to cross your fingers that summer will last a little bit longer while you’re at it.
#15 GO TO TASTE OF KEYSTONE ON SUNDAY
After spending your Saturday dancing to polka music, in your dirndl or lederhosen and drinking the best German beers out there, check out another festival in the Lakeside Village at Keystone over Labor Day weekend. The Taste of Keystone features food from all the best restaurants in Keystone, CO, and is free to attend with food tickets for just $1. Not a wrong way to end your weekend!
START FALL OFF THE RIGHT WAY WITH OKTOBERFEST
Colorado Oktoberfest in Keystone is the best way to kick off your Labor Day weekend. Not only is this the first Oktoberfest of the season (with the rest of the festivals happening later in September) it is a unique opportunity for your whole family to embrace German culture, be active together in the 5k and soak in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains all at once.