Fredericksburg Texas (aka The Texas Hill Country) is steeped in history and extremely proud of its German heritage. As the second German town in Texas founded by the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants, many of the influences from its founding can still be felt today.
One of the most popular annual events in Fredericksburg is Oktoberfest, and there’s no better place to stay for guests making their way into town for the festivities than a rental from Cozi Vacation Rentals.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest, which translates to “people’s festival”. The original festival is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, in the south of Germany, and more than six million attendees flock there each year to enjoy the festivities. The festival is much more than a party — it’s an important part of Bavarian culture and has been held since 1810. That being said, Bavarian people do know how to have fun, and huge quantities of beer are consumed — 7.7 liters (2,000,000 US gallons) of beer was served in 2014 alone!
Oktoberfest is loved by millions of people around the world and as such, there are many similar celebrations in American cities including San Antonio, Austin, and many other locations outside of the USA.
What to Know About the Fredericksburg Festival
Taking place during the first weekend of October, Fredericksburg’s Oktoberfest is sponsored by Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance and is one of the most popular events every year. Here are a few things that you might find useful to know before heading to the fest for the first time.
Oktoberfest has been taking place in Fredericksburg since 1981. The proceeds from the event support local art projects and scholarships for Gillespie County residents wishing to study music or art at the university level. Due to its charitable nature, the festival is a highly important part of life in Fredericksburg and has grown year after year into the spectacle that it is today.
How Much Do Tickets Cost?
The cost of admission varies based on age, but you can save by purchasing multi-day passes. It’s possible to buy general admission wristbands as well as universal tickets that are good for food, beverages, and the children’s area.
Standard ticket prices (for 2023):
- Adults $10
- Adults 2-Day Passes $15 each
- Adults 3-Day Passes $20 each
- Children 7 – 12 $1 each
- Children 6 & under Free
Advanced tickets are available from January each year until two weeks prior to the festival start date.
Downtown Fredericksburg is alive with the fun of Oktoberfest from Friday until Sunday. Head down at the following times to taste the finest bratwurst and potato pancakes and catch some authentic live music.
- Friday – 6 pm to Midnight
- Saturday – 10 am to Midnight
- Sunday – 11 am to 6 pm
How to Get There
Oktoberfest is held in Downtown Fredericksburg on Marktplatz. The full address is 100 W Main Street Fredericksburg, TX 78624.
The location is 70-75 miles northwest of San Antonio and southwest of Austin. Make parking a breeze by utilizing the shuttle between the Gillespie County Fairgrounds parking area and Marktplatz, where the festival takes place. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes, and you can purchase your passes online. You can also purchase tickets for the festival itself at the Park & Ride site at the Fairgrounds.
Parking is available around Marktplatz itself, but this is limited so try to avoid driving here to make the journey easier for yourself.
Food and Drink
Of course, no German festival is complete without delicious food and drinks. Bring your appetite to try a range of traditional German dishes like apple strudel, schnitzel, German potato salad, and more. If you’ve never tried sauerkraut or pretzels, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
As you might expect from an event in Texas, delicious BBQ food is also on offer, including sandwiches, tacos, and juicy burgers. If German strudel isn’t your thing but you have a sweet tooth, try the homemade ice cream and sugar cookies on offer — you won’t be disappointed!
All of this pairs perfectly with a cold brew from the wide selection of German, Texas, and domestic beers. Soft drinks including fresh lemonade are also on offer.
A Checklist of Fun Activities to Enjoy
With so many things to do and see, it’s no surprise that many festival-goes attend all three days. No matter whether you plan to attend the entire festival or take part in select events, some of the can’t-miss highlights of what you can experience include:
Live Music and Dancing
Get ready to experience five stages filled with incredible German music performances from acts like the OOmpahs and The Tubameisters. Live music rings out as the sun goes down and well into the night. Grab your favorite dancing partner and throw some shapes — why not try some German polka-style dancing?
Rotary Kraut Run
The Rotary Kraut Run is the official running event of Oktoberfest. Participants can choose from a 5K and 8K run as well as a non-timed 5K walk through Fredricksburg’s picturesque streets, and Oktoberfest costumes are encouraged. The event is dog and stroller-friendly and proceeds benefit Fredericksburg ISD literacy programs.
The Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance
This iconic dance dates all the way back to the 1950s and is an iconic event in the festival program. Werner Thomas, a Swiss-German accordion player, is the genius behind the song and the corresponding dance. He realized that Swiss skiers look similar to gliding water ducks and well — the rest is history!
Nowadays, hundreds of dancers gather in the market square to participate in the chicken dance. Be sure to join them!
Meeting Brewmasters from Leinenkugel and Shiner
Germans know their beer, and any opportunity to meet brewmasters shouldn’t be passed up. Dozens of beer-making experts gather each year at Oktoberfest and are more than willing to talk about beer — from the brewing process through to tasting notes.
A family Dirndl and Lederhosen Contest
The dirndl dress is symbolic of Bavaria and is worn by women during traditional celebrations. Lederhosen is the male equivalent, and each year a contest is held to crown the king and queen of Bavarian attire. This is a family-friendly event and hundreds of people dressed up and gathered together makes for a fantastic photo opportunity
Oktoberfest is great fun for all the family, and young attendees with love the KinderPark, or “children’s park.” This area features games including a hi-striker, professional face painting artists, stilt walkers, and so much more.
Reserve Your Oktoberfest Accommodations Today
It’s never too early to book your Fredericksburg Oktoberfest stay with Cozi Vacation Rentals. After a day of festival fun, your vacation rental is the perfect place to escape the crowds and prepare for another memorable day.
Whether this is your first time visiting Fredericksburg for Oktoberfest or this is an annual tradition for you, we’re certain you’ll have a grand time when you stay with Cozi!