Everything to know about Tulsa Oktoberfest
Autumn in Tulsa may not be the prettiest, as the trees stay green and the weather stays hot, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. With the Tulsa State Fair wrapping up, Tulsans are anxiously awaiting the next autumn festival to take place in the city. Tulsa’s massive Oktoberfest, occurring Oct. 20-23, offers everyone in the community, from toddlers to grandparents, a few nights of German-style merrymaking to celebrate the change in seasons.
Oktoberfest is held at 2100 S Jackson Ave, just across the river. The admission price is $15, and authentic German food, beer and souvenirs can be purchased at the festival. Once admitted, guests can watch free concerts from German bands and cheer on competitors in the Bavarian cup challenge, who participate in activities such as barrel racing and a stein holding contest.
Food and drinks at Oktoberfest are not difficult to come by. Bratwurst and Bavarian cheesecake are found at every corner, and the festival boasts over 300 beers on tap, 200 of which are imported from Germany. Local breweries too, such as Marshall and Cabin Boys, create their Munich-style lagers just for the event. Attractions go beyond food, however, as several carnival rides and games are available, and dozens of local artisans are on site selling high quality goods and souvenirs. If you forgot to show up in your lederhosen and tirolerhut, don’t worry: you’ll have several opportunities to purchase the perfect Oktoberfest outfit essentials. Guests may also watch adorable dachshund races and dress competitions, or even register their own weiner dog for $15.
Thursday hours are 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday hours are 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m., and Sunday hours are 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Daylight hours provide guests with family-friendly events such as polka dance parties. If you don’t love swarming crowds and loud noises but still enjoy the festivity of the season, daytime hours offer opportunities for more calm celebration for those easily overstimulated. Once the sun goes down, the festival becomes a huge party, complete with overflowing steins and enthusiastically-attended concerts. Sounds of laughter and mirth fill the tents, and a few passionate patrons may even be seen dancing atop tables not unlike Merry and Pippin in that one scene from “The Lord of the Rings.”
Tulsa may be 15 hours and an $800 plane ticket away from Munich, but that doesn’t mean a Bavarian celebration of the harvest can’t take place here. Tulsa’s Oktoberfest, now in its 43rd year, has been acclaimed as one of the top five Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States. The event isn’t about drinking unhealthy amounts of beer and blowing imprudent amounts of money on German paraphernalia, but it is about bringing a community together in celebration. For a population still scarred by the isolation of the pandemic, a communally-oriented event like Oktoberfest is welcome indeed. So next weekend, why don’t you take a break from your studying and participate in one of Tulsa’s greatest cultural events. You likely won’t be disappointed.