If you know anything about Illinois’ heritage, it should come as no surprise that German festivals are some of the most popular in the state. Locals look forward to these beer and food fairs every year, and fall is the perfect time for them.
If you love festivals, these are the 16 Oktoberfests you should attend in Illinois. Keep scrolling for dates and other details.
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1. Blocktoberfest - September 9, 2017
Taking place at the St. Leonard School located at 3322 Clarence Avenue in Berwyn, this is a block party open to more than just neighborhood locals. It features food and craft booths, fun inflatables, and live music.
2. Platzkonzert Germanfest - September 8-9, 2017
Featuring two stages of live music, this free festival also includes fun events such as the Superhero 5K run. It takes place each year at the Village Green located at 5510 Prairie Stone Parkway in Hoffman Estates.
3. Palatine Oktoberfest - September 15-17, 2017
Enjoy authentic German food and beer at this fabulous fair. It features a keg rolling ceremony and other traditional German events as well as a raffle. Easily accessible by train, the festival takes places right across the tracks from the Palatine Train Station, Northwest Line, at 150 W Slade Street in Palatine.
4. Peoria Oktoberfest - September 15-17, 2017
One of the most popular German festivals in the state, this one takes place at RiverFront Park, 200 NE Water Street. Admission is $7 or $10, depending on the day, and Sunday is free if you bring a can good to donate. Events include a costume contest, Das Bier Run, and a puppet theatre for kids.
5. Belleville Oktoberfest - September 15-16, 2017
This festival features three stages with live entertainment as well as rides, food vendors, and a plethora of activities. Locals visit for the authentic German eats and beer as well as other fair food. Events include a wiener dog race, a costume contest, a cornhole tournament, a car show. It takes place at N 1st Street and W Main Street.
6. Two Brothers Oktoberfest - September 17, 2017
An annual festival, this one takes place at The Two Brothers Roundhouse at 205 N Broadway in Aurora. Visitors enjoy steins of authentic German beer as well as food and games. The best part is that entry is free.
7. Galena Oktoberfest - September 30, 2017
This annual festival takes place at Depot Park which is at Highway 20 and Park Avenue in Galena. There is a $5 admission fee for adults while children ages 12 and less are free. The event features live music, wiener dog races, polka dancing and lessons, food trucks, and a beer stein endurance contest.
8. Oktoberfest Chicago - September 29 - October 1, 2017
Each year, locals look forward to beer and brats as well as German music at this fair. Admission is $5 for adults while active military and veterans may enter free of cost. It takes place outside the St. Alphonsus Church at the corner of Lincoln, Wellington, and Southport in Lakeview.
9. Jacksonville Rotary Oktoberfest - September 30, 2017
Enjoy authentic German music, food, and dancing throughout the day at this fun fest. You'll also get to experience a wiener dog race, a pet parade, beer and wine tastings, and games throughout the day. It takes places at the Morgan County Fairgrounds at 110 S Westgate Avenue.
10. The American Aid Society of German Descendants Oktoberfest - September 23 & 30, October 7, 2017
People look forward to this authentic festival each year. It features folk dancers and live bands as well as more food than you can try in one day. Admission is $8, and it takes places at the German/American Cultural Center located at 259 West Grand Avenue in Lake Villa.
11. St. Mary's Oktoberfest - October 6-8, 2017
Locals love to come out for live music, games, and a silent auction at this incredible festival. It features a ceremonial keg tapping as well as a plethora of German and American food. It takes place at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 519 East 4th Street in Alton.
12. CU Oktoberfest - October 7, 2017
This annual celebrations takes place in downtown Champaign at the corner of Neil and Washington which is the parking lot in front of the Orpheum Children's Science Museum. Entry is $5, and in addition to sausages, pretzels, and beer, guests enjoy polka dancing and music.
13. Rotary Club of Quincy Oktoberfest - October 7, 2017
Admission to this festival is free, and it is one of the best places to find authentic German cuisine. Visitors also enjoy live entertainment and trolley tours. The festival takes place in Quincy’s German Historic District on York Street between 9th and 10th streets.
14. Mount Prospect Oktoberfest/Fall Festival - October 13-14, 2017
Popping up each year in downtown Mount Prospect at the intersection of Emerson Street and Busse Avenue, you'll find one of Illinois' most wonderful German festivals. Visitors enjoy various activities like pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, hay rides, food vendors, and live music. There's even a make-your-own scarecrow event.
15. German American Heritage Center Oktoberfest - October 14, 2017
This unique festival features split-the-pot raffles as well as German food and drinks. Cost of entry is $10 for adults but free to youth of all ages (under 18 years). It takes place at 25249 South Center Road in Frankfort.
16. Sullivan Oktoberfest - October 20-21, 2017
At this fantastic fair, you'll enjoy a beer tent, chili cook-off, 5K race, beer and wine wasting, and free entertainment. It takes place each year in downtown Sullivan at 1-3 Jefferson Street.
Which of these German festivals is closest to your hometown? Share your experiences and photos with us!