Oktoberfest: Two big weekends in Whitefish

Great Northwest Oktoberfest celebrates all things German Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and Oct. 6-8.

New & Notable

The Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish brings Hop Queens, Stein-Holding Kings, polka-playing Senators from north of the border and Hofbrauhaus – Munich’s legendary royal beer factory – to Depot Park.

The 7th annual celebration of all things German is set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1, and Oct. 6-8 at Depot Park in downtown Whitefish. Gates are open 5-11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon-11 p.m. Saturdays. This annual shin-dig offers six full nights (and two days) of authentic Bavarian food, drink, music and dancing, and the wildest array of audience participation contests that the Flathead Valley has ever seen!

Three great bands will provide non-stop oompah, polka, waltz, western swing and other great dance music

Western Senators
The Western Senators, one of Canada’s top dance bands, entertains in WhitefishPhoto © Whitefish Chamber of Commerce

throughout the festival, with one of America’s top Oktoberfest bands – Europa – entertaining the masses throughout the first weekend. One of the top dance bands in Canada – The Western Senators – play each night the second weekend, and on Saturday afternoons it’s the Bavarian Echoes – the Flathead’s own Bavarian brass band.

Fame & fortune await contest winners!

Each night at Oktoberfest, the audience is invited to get “into the act” by participating in one of the hourly contests on (and around) the Main Stage. Log-sawing, stein-holding, keg-hurling, mountain-climbing, bratwurst-eating and waitress-racing.

Northwest Oktoberfest is chalk full of fun contests & activities on both weekends, including stein-holding.
Northwest Oktoberfest is chalk full of fun contests & activities on both weekends, including stein-holding.

Back to defend his title this year will be 2015 Whitefish Stein-Holding champion Kevin Collom, who last week competed in the U.S. Masskrugstemmen (Stein-Holding) Championships in New York City.  This year’s champ will be determined on the last night of Oktoberfest – Saturday, Oct. 8 – with the victor winning a trip to the National Semifinals in Las Vegas next summer. The winner of that competition goes to the Finals in New York in September, and the U.S. Champ wins an all-expense paid trip for two to Munich, Germany.

The Oktoberfest’s third annual Hop Queen Competition and Crowning is set for the evening of Thursday, Oct. 6, as Queen CK the Second relinquishes her crown –and title – to one of the Lovely Ladies of Lager who’ll be vying for the honor. Applications are available at the Great Northern Brewing Company or the Chamber (call 406-862-3501 for more info). Also scheduled for the night of Oct. 6 are the seventh annual Oktoberfest Waitress Races, as well as the second annual Bavarian Business Night promotion – aka “Gone Fishin Goes to Oktoberfest.”

Kids’ events are on tap noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Tickets are $5; free for children under 12, with parent; call 406-862-3501 or visit www.whitefishoktoberfest.com.