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You’ve heard of Oktoberfest, but do you really know what it means? Here’s a little rundown of the history of Oktoberfest-

The original Oktoberfest in October 1810 was held in honor of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. For five entire days, the burghers of Munich were invited to drink, eat and be merry; all while enjoying parades involving kettle drums music, shooting displays and a horse race around the meadow near the edge of town. Such a great time was had by all that it was decided to stage the race every year. Granted there have been some occasional festival pauses, but this year will be the celebration of the 184th Oktoberfest!

The original festival is held in Munich each year for two weeks starting in late September and going to the first few days of October. Each year the festival attracts close to six million visitors, who between them consume almost seven million liters of beer and much their way through thousands of grilled sausages, chickens, giant pretzels and more. In addition to eating and drinking, the visitors can also enjoy parades, fair rides and thousands of people dressed up in Bavarian gear. Oktoberfest goers have the opportunity to visit 14 tents that are filled with long wooden tables with benches.  A sight to be seen – one tent event holds up to 10,000 people!

For those that a trip across the sea is a bit too much, but you still want to celebrate Oktoberfest-you’re in luck! Right in our own backyard, many of the Duluth breweries and restaurants participate in the two-week celebration, so you will have your fair share of opportunities to celebrate like folks in Munich!

oktoberfest images

  • Grandma’s ResturantThe entire kick off week, from the 20th to the 24th, is an all-out polka music festival surrounded by authentic German beer, food, and fun. And back by overwhelming popular demand are the Oktoberfest All Star Polka Band – featuring internationally acclaimed talent from across the globe! The Oktoberfest All Stars will play day and night in the main dining room and they are an illustrious and renowned group of musicians from near and far.Featured musicians coming together to form the ultimate polka band are Joe Jagunich from the Joey J Duo Dance Band; Frank Bucar from the Singing Slovenes; and Gasper Krek from Slovenia’s Got Talent equivalent; and it’s Gasper Krek’s showmanship and incredible yodeling talent that had the entire dining room on its feet last year.Of course, the looks, tastes, and smells of Oktoberfest will also surround you at Grandma’s. The entire restaurant is converted to a German beer hall, complete with banners, streamers, gourds, pumpkins, cornstalks and fresh foliage from local farms. Added to our traditional restaurant fare is an extensive German menu featuring the likes of Schweineschnitzel, big German bratwurst, sweet Sauerbraten dinner, and assorted German breads and homemade apple crisp. And don’t forget the beer! There’s a vast selection of Oktoberfest brews including Duluth’s own Lake Superior Brewing; fall craft beer selections from the Great Lakes region, as well as Paulaner and Spaten, imported from Germany.Whether you come for the food, the music, the beer, or the fun, you will quickly realize that when experienced all together – it’s unforgettable! Celebrate our 42nd Oktoberfest at Grandma’s Saloon & Grill during Kick Off Week September 20-24. Then the celebration continues from September 25th to October 8th with A Taste of Oktoberfest menu available at all Saloon & Grill locations including Miller Hill and Virginia.
  • The Boat Club: Visit The Boat Club in the Fitger’s Courtyard Saturday, October 7th from 11 AM to 9 PM for games,
    German food, beer, and wine.  Polka music, Hammerschlagen, Keg Races, Tug of War, and much more!
  • Canal Park Brewery:  

    JOYRIDE ANTICoktoberfest beer


    4500 miles directly East of Duluth, across the Atlantic sits a little place with some Wunderbar beer. It is a place where potato dumplings and cheese noodles flow like wine. A place where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. A little place called….Munich, Germany. Clank steins of this rich, toasty and elegant European Lager til the cows come home. Lederhosen optional. ABV: 5.5%  OG: 13.4 FG: 3.2 IBU: 25


  • Hoops Brewing: 
    No. 67 Oktoberfest Wiesn Bier6.1%23

    The long tradition of the Munich Octoberfest began in 1810 on the occasion of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig von Bayern and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, to which the Munich population was also invited. Munich residents lovingly call the area on which the world’s largest folk festival has traditionally taken place since then the ‘Wiesn’ (meadow). Hoops Brewing Wiesn Bier is brewed strictly according to the Bavarian beer purity law of 1516 only from the best natural ingredients. It has the character of a typically light bottom-fermented festival beer – a deep golden yellow, with a balanced harmonious taste and the pleasant fragrance of hops. Full-bodied, wonderfully light and slightly sweet a beer that enjoys life.

  • Lake Superior Brewing:  

    Oktoberfest (Fall) – Copper-colored with a malt accent flavor. All ingredients are imported from the Fatherland for an authentic profile. Earned the Gold Medal at the World Beer Championship.

    O.G. 1.060. Available in 12 oz. bottles and draft.

  • Blacklist Brewing: 


    We are featuring German cuisine and our special release beer all week.

    FRIDAY 9/29
    Starting at 4 PM Brats & Kraut
    5 PM Tapping of the Special Release Beer
    7-10PM Rod Cerar Polka

    SATURDAY 9/30
    8 PM Boot Drinking Competition


  • Thirsty Pagan Brewing: 

    Come to the Pagan to celebrate Bourbon Barrel Fest (09/22-09/24) and Oktoberfest (09/29-10/01)! Beer Garden will be open and will have live music starting at 4 pm on Weekdays and Noon on weekends!

We hope you take advantage of this fun time of year and find a celebration that you can attend!

For more information about Oktoberfest in Minnesota go to www.funtober.com/oktoberfest/minnesota/

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