8 Reasons You Should Check Out Elktoberfest

Prost at Elkhart Lake’s weekend of Oktoberfest fun.

By istockphoto.com, courtesy of Elkhart Lake Tourism

RAISE YOUR STEINS for Wisconsin’s newest Oktoberfest event! From Sept. 23-25, Elkhart Lake is hosting Elktoberfest, a weekend full of food, games, kid’s activities, lederhosen and, of course, German beer. “It’s an opportunity for families to come to Elkhart Lake and enjoy a weekend full of fun activities,” says Kathleen Eickhoff, the executive director of Elkhart Lake Tourism. We asked Eickhoff to share some of the exciting things happening at the event.

1. Live Music

Every night of the weekend, there will be live music, including The Polka Masters who will open the weekend at the Stein Social from 5-7 p.m. in the Lake Street Beer Garten, delivering the best of Germany’s favorite festive tunes. Here’s a full listing of live music schedule for the weekend:

  • Friday, Sept. 23
    • 6-9 p.m. – Matt & Saddie at the Shore Club
    • 7-10 p.m – Singer-songwriter Jim Ohlschmidt in the Elk Room at The Osthoff Resort
    • 7-11 p.m. – The Cougars at the Lake Deck at The Osthoff Resort
  • Saturday, Sept. 24:
    • 5-8 p.m. – Barbara Stephan Peter Mac Duo at The Concourse Restaurant at The Osthoff Resort
    • 6:30-9 p.m. – The Polka Masters at the Shore Club
    • 7-11 p.m. – Nashville Pipeline at the Lake Deck at The Osthoff Resort
  • Sunday, Sept. 25
    • 2-6 p.m. – To Be Announced at the Lake Deck at The Osthoff Resort

2. SwitchGear Brewing’s Oktoberfest Lager

SwitchGear, a craft brewery in Elkhart Lake, is bringing its popular Oktoberfest märzen for this event. There will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy the lager throughout the weekend.  The weekend kicks off on Friday night from 5-7 p.m. on the horseshoe of Lake Street for the Stein Social where you can purchase your commemorative Elktoberfest stein to be used at participating bars and restaurants throughout the weekend. At 6 p.m., there will be a community prost with a celebrity guest (yet to be announced) raising the toast. The Osthoff ResortShore Club and Siebkens will all have outdoor bars open throughout the social where you can fill your stein.

Photo courtesy of Elkhart Lake Tourism

3. The Saturday Morning Farmers Market

If you miss Friday night’s festivities, you can still pick up your commemorative stein on Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-noon (while supplies last) at the Elkhart Lake Farmers Market. Plus, the market will be hosting its usual wide array of vendors selling fresh produce, craft goods and more.

4. A 5K Wine and Beer Run/Walk

The first annual Elktoberfest Wine and Beer 5K kicks off on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Vintage Elkhart Lake Wine Shop. Racers will each receive a commemorative T-shirt, race bib and a drink ticket that can be redeemed for a glass of wine from Vintage or a beer from Switchgear, plus a souvenir wine glass and a medal for all finishers. The race will run right along scenic Elkhart Lake, and refreshments will be waiting for all the runners at the end. Register at this link here.

By istockphoto.com, courtesy of Elkhart Lake Tourism

5. Fun for the Kids

Saturday at Elktoberfest is full of opportunities for family fun. Start with the Root Beer Garten from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on The Osthoff Resort’s lakefront. The kids can grab a fizzy drink, get their faces painted, decorate pumpkins and play lawn games. At the same time, on the resort’s north lawn, there will be a petting zoo, where kids can get up close with animals like goats, sheep, llama, alpaca, rabbits and chickens. And from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., the resort will also be hosting a bounce house and dunk tank. Local notables from Elkhart will be stepping into the tank, offering kids the chance to dunk them (with proceeds going to charity).

6. The Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages

Wisconsin’s favorite racing sausages will be making a visit to Root Beer Garten at the Osthoff Resort on Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.to celebrate Elktoberfest. Hang with the sausages up close and be sure to get a few photos. 

By istockphoto.com, courtesy of Elkhart Lake Tourism

7. Games for the Adults

After a full day of games for the kids, the adults get a chance to join in. From 1-3 p.m. on The Shore Club lawn, there’ll be traditional Oktoberfest games like keg rolling, a stein dash, a frau carry and more. Take the chance to demonstrate your strength and skill in these fun (and a little silly) competitions. And if you don’t feel up to it, just sit back watch the often-hilarious results unfold.

8. Sunday Morning Community Breakfast

Stick around Sunday morning for a fall community breakfast at the Concourse Restaurant and Lounge. Proceeds will be directed to the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School student organization.

Elkhart Lake’s inaugural Elktoberfest event is supported by Travel Wisconsin.