Can’t make it to Munich? Well put on your lederhosen and grab the biggest stein you can find: Oktoberfest season is here — and there are plenty of places in the Chicago area to celebrate.
Berwyn Oktoberfest. The 13th annual event will be held 6-11 p.m. Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20-21. It takes place in the historic Depot District, at the Berwyn Metra Station, between Oak Park and Home avenues. The fest will include food, live performances, amusement rides, activities for kids, vendors and a beer garden. Bands scheduled for September 20 include R-Gang and Sixteen Candles . On September 21, bands will include Eddie Korosa Jr. and His Boys from Illinois, Something’s Not Right and Platinum, Caliente and 7th Heaven. See BerwynOktoberfest.com/
St. Leonard Blocktoberfest. On Oct. 5 at St. Leonard Parish School, 3322 S. Clarence Ave., Berwyn, will host its annual “Blocktoberfest.” The event will feature live music, a bounce house, an obstacle course, games, a raffle, vendors — and plenty of food and brew. See http://blocktoberfest.weebly.com.
Glenview House Oktoberfest. Around this time every year, Jeff Podjasik, proprietor of Glenview House in Glenview, 1843 Glenview Road, puts on a pair of lederhosen — just for one day. They belonged to his grandfather, the late Richard Meiers of Arlington Heights. “Oktoberfest is really near and dear to my heart, because I am half German,” Podjasik says.
So dear, in fact, that he and his staff will host the second annual feston Sept. 21. They’ve expanded their space from last year to accommodate plenty of additional activities, including a free jumpy house for kids that will be open from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. They’ve also ordered three times more brats than last year — when they went through more than 800 of the classic German sausages.
Entertainment will include live music performed by Die Musikmeisters. See TheGlenviewHouse.com.
Oktoberfest in LaGrange Park. St. Louise de Marillac School , 1123 Harrison Ave., hosts its annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 21. Kids carnival games will be held from 4-7 p.m., followed by music of The Sylvies, from 8-11 p.m. Refreshments will include beer, pop, bratwurst, pork tenderloin, strudel — and that old fashioned favorite, potato pancakes. See: www.SLMParish.org/oktoberfest/
Oktoberfest in Lake Forest. Proceeds from the Oktoberfest party at the Lake Forest Club, 554 N. Westmoreland Road on Sept. 27 will benefit a new outdoor playground and creating a learning garden at the Gorton Children’s Drop-In Center. The dinner event will be held 7-11 p.m. Sept. 27.
The Smoking Fish will perform. An auction will include vacations and a football autographed by the Bears’ Jay Cutler and more. Tickets are $75 in advance and available at www.GortonCenter.org/Oktoberfest.
Long Grove Oktoberfest. The historic village will celebrate its German roots with its annual Oktoberfest in Downtown Long Grove on Oct. 12-13. Activities will take place at the corner of Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road.
Festivities begin with a parade at 10 a.m. on October 12. The annual Fall Parade will begin at Kildeer School, 3100 Old McHenry Road, and end at Archer Municipal Parking Lot, Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road.
Other activities will include a hayride, pumpkin decorating, children’s activities and German music. See: www.VisitLongGrove.com/event/long-grove-oktoberfest.
Mount Prospect Oktoberfest. The annual celebration will be held 1-11 p.m. Oct. 12 at 100 S. Emerson St. From 1-4 p.m. children can enjoy pumpkin decorating, a trick-or-treat candy line and hay rides. Karl Heinz Bauer German DJ and Dancers will entertain from 3:30-6 p.m. The Phenix German Band plays 6 to11p.m. See: www.MountProspect.org/index.aspx?page=647
Oktoberfest in Niles. Our Lady of Ransom Church, 8300 N. Greenwood Ave., Niles, will host its annual Oktoberfest in Paluch Hall at 6 p.m. Sept. 20. Festivities will include a raffle, food and music.
Oktoberfest at Edelweiss Restaurant, Norridge. From Liver Dumpling Soup to the ever-popular Bayerische Schweinhaxe — or baked pork shanks — Oktoberfest favorites will be on a special menu through Nov. 2 at Edelweiss, 7650 W. Irving Park Road, where they recently opened a new patio. Beer will include some Oktoberfest brews, as well as 16 imported draft beers. Edelweiss also offers a selection of German Schnapps. Desserts are also Oktoberfestive, with Pflaumenkuchen (plum cake) to the favorite German Chocolate Cake, which actually isn’t really German, but rather named after German’s chocolate. For live music from the Paloma Band the Johnny Wagner Band and others, plus dancing, come Thursday through Sunday nights. Special been promotions, tastings, giveaways and raffles highlight Friday and Saturday nights. For full music schedule, see www.EdelweissDining.com or call (708) 452-6040.
Oak Brook Oktoberfest. The Oak Brook Park District, the Village of Oak Brook and the Ronald McDonald House partner again this year to host the third annual Oktoberfest celebration, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in Central Park, 1450 Forest Gate Road. Music from the 1960s retro band, the New Invaders (www.NewInvaders.com/homepage.htm)1:30-3:30 p.m.; 7th Heaven (www.7thHeavenBand.com/) 5-7 p.m. The Oktoberfest Children’s Area, open 1-3 p.m., features a pumpkin walk, balloon animals, crafts, a moon jump, face painting, pony ridesand a visit from Ronald McDonald.
For adults. soccer and softball tournaments are scheduled. Featured beers will include Ebel’s Weiss, Domain Dupage and Two Brothers. Sweet Baby Ray’s will grill favorite festival foods. See OBParks.org/Oktoberfest
Oaktoberfest in Oak Park. Annual zucchini races (yes, real vegetables on wheels) and a root beer garden for kids will be highlights of Oaktoberfest, Marion Street and North Boulevard, Sept. 20-21. The Oak Park Public Library’s Traveling Idea Box and games and activities organized by the Wonderworks Children’s Museum will keep things lively.
Live music both days include, on Sept. 20, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts (Milesnielsen.com/), Acoustic Syndicate (www.acousticsyndicate.com/) and Honey Honey (HoneyHoneyBand.com/splash). On Sept. 21, Amanda Shaw (www.AmandaShaw.com), the Great Divide Band (GreatDivideBand.com/), The Howlin’ Brothers (TheHowlinBrothers.com/), Toy Soldiers (OhNoToySoldiers.com/) and The Dream Tree Shakers (DreamTreeShakers.com/).
Information at DowntownOakPark.net
Palatine Oktoberfest. The three-day fest will be held Sept. 20-22 across from the Palatine Metra train station, 150 W. Slade St. Bands will include Phenix, Die Musikmeisters (www.MikeKnaufMusic.com/DieMusikmeisters.html), Jimmy’s Bavarians (www.JimmysBavarians.com/), and the Johnny Wagner Band (www.TheJohnnyWagnerBand.com/).
Family entertainment on September 21 will include a medley of musical theater at 1 p.m; the Quest Academy Choir at 2 p.m., and the Bonnie Lindholm School of Dance will perform at 3 p.m. Arts and crafts, beginning German lessons and “Scarecrows on Parade” exhibit and judging on Sept. 21. Scarecrows can be delivered to the Palatine Firefighters Memorial on Saturday, 11 a.m.-noon. Scarecrow judging will start at noon, with an awards ceremony at 12:30 p.m. roceeds Fest will support work of the Rotary Club of Palatine. See: www.PalatineRotary.com/Oktoberfest.php
Oktoberfest for Center of Concern. The agency providing support services to Maine Township seniors holds a festive fundraiser at the Ridgemoor Country Club, 6601 W. Gunnison, Harwood Heights, on Sept. 28. Center of Concern in Park Ridge Sept. 28.
The event starts at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, then a traditional German dinner, followed by dancing to authentic German band music Tickets are $50 per person in advance, $55 at the door; proceeds support Center activities. Deadline for ticket sales is September 23. There is a 10 percent discount for groups of eight or more.
For tickets, see: www.centerofconcern.org/OKTFEST or (847) 823-0453.
Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus, Rosemont. Bratwurst is a given during Oktoberfest, and so are the seasonal beer that go with it. “We love when Oktoberfest time rolls around and we have the chance to brew our favorite “Oktoberfestbier” using the same method used for centuries at the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich. All of the beers at Hofbräuhaus Chicago are brewed on-site at our microbrewery using 400-year-old recipes and techniques,” said Mike Matuschka, co-owner of Hofbräuhaus, 5500 Park Place. It will be available during the eatery’s fest through Oct. 31.
At Hofbräuhaus, a Bavarian tradition known as masskrugstemmen, or stein-holding competition, will be held On Friday and Saturday nights during the six-week-long celebration. “The competition is always wildly entertaining and it is a Bavarian tradition we love to celebrate here at Hofbräuhaus Chicago,” Matuschka said. The restaurant even has a song for Oktoberfest: “In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus - oans, zwoa, g’suffa!” (“In Munich there’s a Hofbräuhaus - one, two, and down the hatch!” Matuschka said.
Carl Emroy performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 24. See HofbrauhausChicago.com.
Wickets Oktoberfest special. Chef George Garcia has created an Oktoberfest-themed menu at Wickets Bar & Grill at Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale, Suite 100, Schaumburg. Sam Adams Vienna Lager-style beer and Garcia’s pick of “all things Bavarian,” including beer-braised bratwurst and cider-glazed pork loin, will be featured Sept. 30-Oct. 6. A special salute to Bavaria is his appetizer of Wild Mushroom Crostinis in a Sherry Cream Sauce.
Pinstripes, Oktoberfest beer. At all locations, celebrate Oktoberfest with a special local brew. Atom Smasher, a Marzen, Oktoberfest Style Lager made by Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville will be available Sept. 4-Dec. 3 In Northbrook, 1150 Willow Road, (847) 480-2323; in Oak Brook, 7 Oak Brook Center Mall, (630) 368-1874; in South Barrington, 100 W. Higgins Road, (847) 844-9300 or pinstripes.com.
St. Joseph Oktoberfest, Wilmette. The fest , 9-4 p.m. Sept. 21, is a Family Festival and Market on the grounds of St. Joseph Catholic School grounds at the intersection of Lake Street and Ridge Avenue. The event includes shopping for antiques and handcrafts, family games, crafts food and entertainment. Adults can enjoy an evening complete with an oompah band, German dinner and live music from Chicago’s very own Sugar High under a tent in the St. Joseph’s Biergarten. Information at stjosephwilmette.com or (847) 256-7870
Vernon Hills Oktoberfest. The 9th annual celebration will be held Sept. 28 at the Vernon Hills Metra Station, 75 E. Route 45. Activites for kids will include crafts, pumpkin painting, a photo booth, a petting zoo and multiple inflatables. Raffle proceeds will benefit nonprofit food vendors. The Vernon Hills Park District will give away trees and sponsor a free hay ride. Entertainment will include Radio Disney, as well as the bands Kaleidoscope Eyes and UFC Band.
Annual Rocktoberfest, La Grange. A benefit for Community Nurse Health Center. Live music, food, celebrity bartenders, drinks, raffle, and fun. From 5-10:30 p.m., Sept. 21 at Gordon Park, La Grange Road and Ogden Avenue. Purchase tickets online early and save. Costs: $15 online or $20 at the door. Visit: www.therocktoberfest.com. Doings columnist Lynn Petrak is one of the celebrity bartenders.
Oktoberfest at Arrowhead Restaurant & Bar, Wheaton. Specials at the eatery, 26W151 Butterfield Road, will feature favorite German recipes of Chef Alan Pirhofer, a second generation Austrian, from Sept. 21-Oct. 6. “I was trained in classic French cuisine, which requires a lot of preparation. When it’s done really well, German food requires the same kind of meticulous preparation. I remember how much work it was for my grandma and mother to create these wonderful dishes,” Pirhofer says.
For his Oktoberfest menu, Pirhofer will offer many of the classics, but he is also introducing a new dish this year: Jaeger Hunher Schnitzel, which is a breaded chicken cutlet with wild mushroom-bacon sauce, homemade spätzle, and braised red cabbage. He will use hand-crafted sausage from Paulina Market in Chicago. “It’s a good, old-world butcher shop. And I pick up the pretzels on my way to work every morning from Schlegl’s Bakery in Lincolnwood. But everything else is homemade.”
Music from Paul Willaert on Sept. 20 and Sean Skyler on Sept. 21.