Share this post

6 places to celebrate Oktoberfest 2016 around Michiana

Traditional Oktoberfest runs from Sept. 17 until Oct. 3, and that’s reason enough for us to celebrate.

Michiana has been home to a sizable German population since its earliest days, and South Bend and Mishawaka both have sister cities in Germany (Arzberg and Soest, respectively).

Goshen Brewing Co. kicked the Oktoberfest season off with a bike parade and special activities last weekend. Jeremy Stutsman, the mayor of Goshen, even stopped in to pour the first draft of GBCo.’s Oktoberfest offering, Pumpkin Bine.

But there’s still plenty to do to celebrate all things German.

Pillars of Elkhart Oktoberfest & Chili Cook-off

The annual Pillars chili cook-off will be from 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Civic Plaza.

Adults will have fun with live music by MR Z, plenty of food to sample, a beer garden and a cornhole tournament. But kids will have fun too, because there will be a bounce house and crafts.

Tastings of chili will be from 1 to 4 p.m., and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. The cost to participate is $5 per person.

The cornhole tournament will begin at 2 p.m., with onsite registration from 1 to 1:45 p.m., at the plaza. The cost to register will be $40 per team (two people per team).

The civic plaza is located in downtown Elkhart.

Miles Lab

The popular Elkhart restaurant will be offering special beer and food specials through the Oct. 3.

Currently, their seasonal offerings are: Bell’s Octoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Three Floyds Munsterfest and Upland Oktoberfest. For updated lists on the restaurants beers and beer specials, check their Facebook page.

The restaurant is at 3763 E. Jackson Blvd. in Elkhart, along the river.

Purple Porch Co-op

South Bend’s co-op will host an Oktoberfest complete with German food, seasonal beers and music from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Beers will be served from local breweries including Bare Hands, Evil Czech, Crooked Ewe, South Bend Brew Werks and Goshen Brewing Co. Live oompah and polka music will be played by the Will Smaka Band.

Admission to the event will be free, and it’s family friendly.

The co-op is at 123 N. Hill St. in South Bend, just east of the river.

Downtown South Bend First Fridays Oktoberfest

As part of its First Fridays events, Downtown South Bend will host community Oktoberfest activities from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 7.

South Bend Chocolate Café will be selling pumpkin-spiced food and drink as well as having free pumpkin carvings, and Barnaby’s at 713 E. Jefferson Blvd. will be offering $4 pints, including Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery will have clay pumpkin carvings. There will also be a free open rehearsal of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and an architectural walking tour.

For a full list of events and specials going on during First Fridays, visit the DTSB events page.

The Village at Winona

An afternoon of Oktoberfest events will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 with a German-only car show along the canal at the village.

Beer sampling will be from noon to 4 p.m., with beer from four different breweries. There will also be food to nibble on as well as activities for kids. Live German music will be played from 1 to 3 p.m.

Entering your car to the show is free, but pre-registration is required at with the make, model and year of your car.

Tickets for beer sampling are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. You can purchase a ticket for beer sampling at Brown Paper Tickets.

The Village at Winona is at 700 Park Ave. in Winona Lake.

Cerulean Winona Lake

The Garden at Winona will be hosting the Volksfest in the Garden! from 2 to 9 p.m. Sept. 24 complete with a bike/run race and live music.

The gardens will open at 2 p.m. and registration for the Hash Bike/Run Race will begin at 4:30 p.m. The race will start promptly at 5 p.m. and the garden afterparty will start at 6 p.m.

Music will start with DJ Chuck Fry at 6 p.m. and will continue with live performances from Dos Hermanos, Spaceships, and James and the Drifters.


Reader Garry Asmus let us know about an Oktoberfest event going on down in Bremen. Here are the deets!

Downtown Bremen

Oktoberfest events will kick off in downtown Bremen at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7 and run until 9 p.m. There will be crafts, a beer garden, food (including Ben’s Pretzel’s), hay rides (every 30 minutes), live music and a kids tailgate part. Performances will be by Leon Borkholder and Friends, Samantha Rolòn and Regan Lorraine. Signups for the longboard competition will run all evening.

Events continue from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 8 with a soap box derby, a German-themed photo booth, a parade (at 10:30 a.m.), a cornhole tournament. There will also be plenty of kids events including a petting zoo, balloon twisting and pumpkin chuckin’.

A beer festival will be hosted on Oct. 8 at the Sunnyside Park pavilion. VIP tickets are available for $55 and get you in an hour early (at noon) and includes a commemorative glass stein and a brat sandwich dinner from Nelson’s. General admission tickets are $35 and designated driver tickets are $10. Tickets may be purchased in advance here.

Performing on Oct. 8 will be Ziynne, Wright Place Music, Matt Kalika’s Magic Show, Samantha Rolòn and the Scally-Waggers.

Events will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9. Concluding events for the festival will be a bounce house and a pie eating contest for kids. The main stage will be filled by a worship service in the morning followed by the Horizon and Bremen UMC bands, the Bremen High School Choir and ensembles, a talent show and the Marshall County Church Orchestra.

Leave a comment

Comments · 1

Type and hit enter