The leaves haven’t changed and the weather’s still steamy, but this year’s Parktoberfest is everything you love about fall with the warm weather of summer!
During the weekend of September 16 – 17, downtown Detroit parks transform into bier gardens, complete with over 25 craft beers, seasonal specialty barrels from Germany, and all your favorite fall foods.
PARKtoberfest is fun for the whole family with scheduled, kid-friendly events like pumpkin carving, face painting and interactive games and activities.
So hang up your wool-knit scarf and opt for some sunscreen: We have all the information you need to send off your summer right and kick-start your fall into high gear!
Here’s a fun trivia fact: In Munich, Germany, the annual Oktoberfest is held during the same weekend of September every year. Based off this grand tradition of community festivities, the PARKtoberfest was contrived from the same ideas of food, beer, and outdoor fun.
Starting on Friday, September 16 from 5:00 p.m. – midnight, Cadillac Square kicks off the festival with the ceremonial keg opening, similar to a tradition performed in Munich. Following the ceremony, guests will be able to enjoy the Big Bier Garden Tent with 25 craft and Oktoberfest beers along with local Atwater seasonal specialties like Blocktoberfest and Dirty Blonde. There will also be fall favorites like hard ciders and harvest wine. Traditional Oktoberfest eats, like donuts, candied apples, pretzels, popcorn and cupcakes, will be available for purchase from the Fountain Detroit and other local eateries.
Live music and dancers are set to perform throughout the event, with traditional German music by Immigrant Sons, Celtic rock from the Corktown Popes, and Polka rockers, The Polish Muslims. Interactive competitions like pumpkin carving, keg rolls, keg hoists, and stein raises will be sprinkled throughout the event.
What’s a stein raise, you ask? Based on a popular German game, the stein raise is a competition of strength and stamina as you are challenged to hold a 1-liter stein of German beer (weighing approximately five pounds) as long as you can. With one arm extended straight in front of you, the game might sound simpler than it is! Don’t be deceived: If the weight of the beer wasn’t enough, the wait to drink the craft German beer takes the cake!
On Saturday, September 17 from noon – midnight, the festival sends off the summer with family fun activities, performances, and more.
Located in Campus Martius from noon – 8:00 p.m., the Kidz Zone comes alive with zucchini 500-car racing, pumpkin and face painting, and stage performances. The kids will also be able to enjoy the Faygo Root Beer Garden, with all their favorite Faygo flavors and a dollop of Detroit Ice Cream Company’s homemade vanilla ice cream!
Artist and professional pumpkin carver, Jennifer Hoppert, a former Disney designer, will demonstrate her work throughout the event. Spectators can enjoy her performance on Saturday, as she carves an 80-pound pumpkin!
Head over to Cadillac Square from noon – midnight for more craft beers, live performances, and fall food.
Admission to this weekend of festivities is free, with food, beverages, and games available for purchase.
Keep up with all the excitement surrounding the weekend by checking out the Campus Martius website. Don’t forget to hashtag #OpportunityDetroit in all your PARKtoberfest pictures!