Noch ein Bier, bitte. Celebrating Oktoberfest in the Lehigh Valley
Do you like beer? Yes.
Do you like games? Sure do.
Do you like fun? Obviously.
Do you tend to get really excited about anything with the suffix “-fest”? Happens to the best of us.
Do you like spending $2,109 and 11 hours on a plane from Philadelphia to Munich with a layover in Frankfurt in order to celebrate Oktoberfest? Hard pass.
Thankfully, the Lehigh Valley and its surrounding areas offer plenty of ways to partake in the German jubilee. Cheers!
Oktoberfest at SteelStacks
September 30-October 2 & October 7-9
Friday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturdays: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sundays: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Hopping with festivities like barrel rolling, stein races, Masskrugstemmen (that’s when you hold a beer stein without bending your elbow until you feel like your arm is going to fall off and then continue to hold it, because why not?), and water pong, the free family-friendly festival is back for two weekends of Bavarian-inspired fun. In addition to live music and German food tents, the ’fest will feature a Dachshund race, the area’s largest bingo event, and glassblowing demonstrations. And new this year, The Great Lakes Timber Show, an entertaining Lumber Jack show that features chainsaw carving, axe throwing, wood chopping, one and two-man crosscut sawing, modified chainsawing, log rolling, and loads of clean family humor.
Just there to get your drink on? Head to Brewers’ Village, a gathering of some of Pennsylvania’s best brewers and breweries with more than 25 different Oktoberfest brews and seasonal sips to sample. Visit steelstacks.org/festivals/oktoberfest for more information.
Yuengling Oktoberfest 5K
October 2, 10:30 a.m.
The third annual Yuengling Oktoberfest 5K returns this fall with a festive, German-themed race that starts and ends at the Yuengling Festhalle tent at the SteelStacks campus. Participants will walk away with an official Yuengling Oktoberfest 5K beer stein – with a complementary pour of Yuengling Oktoberfest beer – in addition to a free tech shirt and race photos. The race is limited to 3,000 participants, so be sure to preregister online.
Visit oktoberfestrace.com for more information.
Run Lehigh Valley’s Oktoberfest “5K-ish”
October 1, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Run Lehigh Valley, this “5K-ish” isn’t your typical 5K – in fact, they describe it as “not really a 5K at all, but calling it a run makes us feel better.” We’ll take it. The rain-or-shine race across downtown Bethlehem encourages participants to don their best Oktoberfest-inspired attire as they dash from bar to bar. Each boozy checkpoint offers raffle tickets for a prize giveaway, and participants are awarded two free beers at the afterparty, which includes a live band. Participating bars include Roosevelt’s 21st, Joe’s Tavern, The Bayou, Broadway Social, Ripper’s Pub, The Steel Pub, and Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub. The run often sells out, so be sure to preregister online. Visit runlehighvalley.com/races/oktoberfest-5k for more information.
Oktoberfest at Blue Mountain
October 1-2, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Head to Blue Mountain for a free admission and family-friendly celebration of Bavarian eats, artisan crafts, a dance floor, and, of course, a biergarden. A scenic lift ride offers breathtaking views of the Poconos, and Saturday evening will wind down with a fireworks show. Visit skibluemt.com/upcoming-events/oktoberfest for more information.
Lehigh Valley Ale Trail
The Lehigh Valley is home to a host of unique breweries and distilleries. Why not celebrate the spirit of Oktoberfest in a hyperlocal fashion by touring our very own trail of distinctive brews and spirits? From Allentown’s HiJinx Brewing Company and Colony Meadery to Easton’s Two Rivers and Weyerbacher breweries, Bethlehem’s artisan distillery Social Still, and Kutztown’s Saucony Creek and Golden Avalanche breweries, you don’t have to go abroad to discover a new favorite drink. Visit lehighvalleyaletrail.com for more information.
Oktoberfest at Bear Creek
September 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nestled in a scenic alpine setting, Bear Creek’s Oktoberfest revelers will enjoy festivities at this “Munich on the mountain” destination with German music, folk dancing, and food. Bear Creek hosts the only Oktoberfest Volksmarch in the Lehigh Valley, a picturesque 5K or 10K family-friendly fall foliage hike. At the peak of the mountain, hikers can make a pit stop at a festival tent to enjoy panoramic views of the Valley while sipping German beer. Visit bcmountainresort.com/features/407-oktoberfest for more information.
Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest
September 28-30 & October 1-2
Ranked the 4th best Oktoberfest in the world (seriously) by Business Insider and the #1 Oktoberfest in the United States by USA Today, this enormous bash is thrown by Reading Liederkranz. This isn’t their first rodeo—they’ve been hosting Oktoberfest annually since 1885. In 2014, a record high of 24,000 celebrants visited the ’fest. Internationally acclaimed and right in our backyard, it’s definitely worth a stop as you put together your Oktoberfest itinerary. Visit readingliederkranz.com/oktoberfest for more information.