Prost! The Great Northwest Oktoberfest returns

Celebration brings German music, food, drink and contests to Whitefish

New & Notable

Enjoy two big weekends of authentic German food and drink, music and dancing and wacky contests at Depot Park in Whitefish, Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 5-7, during the Great Northwest Oktoberfest.

Competitors in the Great Northwest Oktoberfest hoist steins.
Competitors in the Great Northwest Oktoberfest hoist steins.Photo © Whitefish Chamber

The annual affair features music by Canada’s polka kings, The Western Senators, on the first weekend, and Europa, one of America’s most sought-after Oktoberfest bands, on weekend no. 2. The Flathead’s own German orchestra, the Bavarian Echoes, entertains throughout.

Join in the revelry by entering a stein-holding contest, hurling a beer keg, running a leg of the Beer Pitcher Relay, or doing the chicken dance.

The top finishers from this year’s stein-holding competitions will be announced at 9 p.m. Oct. 7, the festival’s closing day. Winners square-off for the Grand Championships and a shot at winning a spot in next year’s Hofbrau Stein-Holding National Championships in New York City.

The opening round of the 2023 Oktoberfest Hop Queen Pageant takes place at the
Firebrand Hotel — corner of Spokane & Second Street — from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, with music by The Europa Band. The queen will be crowned at 9 p.m. Thursday, after votes are tallied.

Gates are open 5-11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon-11 p.m. Saturdays.

Tickets are $8 per day (kids under 12 are admitted free with a parent) and are available only at the main gate on the day of the show. Learn more at