Despite its name, the actual Oktoberfest kicks off this weekend in Bavaria, and so do the local versions of the world’s largest beer fest. Some of our Oktoberfest events aim to be legit celebrations of German heritage, while others definitely have more of a Central Illinois character to them.
Truth be told, this one is hard to beat. Not only does it take over the city’s downtown riverfront all the way from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, but it opens with an Oktoberfest parade and features several bands straight from the motherland. Check out the event’s massive schedule:
It’s far shorter and more low-key, but it does offer authentic German fare prepared by one of Normal’s top foodie havens.
Medici in Normal will host an evening of tradition German food, music, and drinks! The event will take place on North Street in Uptown Normal, featuring delicious Oktoberfest brews, authentic German fare, and live entertainment.
This one is definitely not going to transport you to Bavaria – not with a country band and a Grateful Dead tribute for your live entertainment. But this popular downtown Springfield bar has been doing Oktoberfest for four years, so obviously people like it, and they will have a German menu on both days.
Friday, Sept. 20, 5 pm – 1 am
Saturday, Sept. 21, 5 pm – 1 am
Over 20 beers on draft
Coors Light Silver Bullet trucks
Live music outside
Friday, Sept. 20: Casper and the Kountry Kustoms (Top 40 country and original material)
Saturday, Sept. 21: Sunshine Daydream (Grateful Dead tribute)
Live music inside
Both nights: Mike Burnett and Friends (blues/rock)
Champaign-Urbana’s Oktoberfest is farther down the road (Oct. 5), and it’s more of an authentic thing, even if none of the entertainers are actually from Germany. Also, it benefits a great cause!
Have a great time and support the work of a local nonprofit at C-U Oktoberfest!
In addition to legit German beer (Paulaner Munich Lager, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hacker Weisse), C-U Oktoberfest will feature several area breweries (Destihl, JT Walkers, Riggs Beer Company, The Blind Pig, Triptych) and live entertainment!
3 pm – Party Begins
3 pm – 6 pm – Family and children’s activities
4 pm to 8 pm – Die Musikmeisters (German Oompah band)
8:30 pm to 10 pm – The Polkaholics (polka)
10:15 pm – Raffle Drawing for trip to 2020 Oktoberfest in Munich
10:30 pm – Midnight Bolzen Beer Band (Punk party polka!)
Proceeds to benefit Discover Self Community‘s mission to empower adults and children with disabilities.
Actual Germans would not go for a chili cook-off, nor would they want to see The Feudin’ Hillbillies onstage. But Sullivan is in Illinois Amish Country, and they do things their way, including holding an art show and offering wine tastings during their two-day (Oct. 18-19) Oktoberfest celebration. Also let’s not forget the sausage-eating competition.
Friday, Oct. 18
6 pm — Vendor booths, Artoberfest & beer tent open
6:30 pm-7:30 pm — Northenders Band at Main Stage
6 pm-8 pm — Inflatables, bumper cars and Kids Corner open
6 pm-9 pm — Wine tasting at 5 West Lounge
8 pm-11 pm — The Feudin’ Hillbillies (under the Beer Tent)
11 pm — Vendor booths, beer tent close
Saturday, Oct. 19
12 pm – Chili Cook-Off begins, vendor booths open
12 pm – 8 pm – Inflatables, bumper cars and Kids Corner open
12 pm – 9 pm – Wine Tasting at 5 West Lounge
1 pm – 2 pm – Sullivan Dance Studio perform at Main Stage
1 pm – 2:30 pm – J’s Petspaw Pet Contest registration open
1:30 pm – Sullivan FFA and Sullivan FFA Alumni Pedal Pull sign-ups begin
2 pm – 2:30 pm – Singers and Singer Jr. Perform at Main Stage
2 pm – Sullivan FFA and Sullivan FFA Alumni Pedal Pull Contest Begins
3 pm – 4pm – J’s Petspaw Pet Contest Begins
4:30 pm – Dance Station of Bethany Performs at Main Stage
4:30 pm – Chili Cook-Off Judges’ Choice tasting begins
5 pm – Triple Dog Dare Moultrie Monster Sausage Eating Contest at the Main Stage
5 pm-7 pm – Chili Tasting Begins / People’s Choice Judging
6 pm-8 pm – Drew Cagle at Main Stage
7:30 pm – Chili Cook-Off People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice Winners Announced
7:30 pm – Artoberfest Winners Announced
8 pm – 11 pm – Page Mackenzie (under the beer tent)
11 pm – Festival closes