Elkhart Lake is well known as a summer vacation destination with its beautiful lakeside resorts and high-speed Road America racing. The relaxing family atmosphere with farm to table dining and a vibrant live music scene makes for a great vacation vibe. In fall, Elkhart Lake offers an equally beautiful but slower, quieter pace. But this year, Elkhart Lake will keep the festive feeling of summer going a little while longer with its first annual Elktoberfest on September 23-25.
Be prepared to walk (or run), taste, dance, and mingle with a very proud Wisconsin crowd that always loves an opportunity to be in costume. So, put on your Lederhosen or Dirndl, hoist a stein, grab a pretzel and embrace our German heritage!
The weekend will commence Friday night at 5:00 p.m. with a Stein Social on Lake Street down by the lakefront. Purchase an Elktoberfest stein and enjoy one complimentary pour of SwitchGear Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest. Polka music and a community prost will kick off at 6:00 p.m., and the street will be lined with outdoor bars for filling your stein. Enjoy German fare for dinner at one of the local restaurants and continue grooving to live music at the Osthoff’s Elk Room or Lake Deck.
Saturday will kick off with the Elktoberfest 5K Wine & Beer Run/Walk at 9:00 a.m. at the local wine and spirits shop, Vintage Elkhart Lake. Participants will receive not only a t-shirt and medal, but a drink ticket for a pour of wine or craft beer in a souvenir glass. You can sign up for the 5K here. If 5Ks aren’t your thing, the Farmers & Artisans Market will be taking place in the village square from 8:00 a.m. – noon. You can pick up an Elktoberfest stein at the market if you didn’t make it to the Friday social.
For the little ones, the Osthoff lawn will have a Root Beer Garten with face painting, pumpkin decorating and lawn games. Don’t miss the guest appearance by the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. If you want to transition from root beer to other local brews, SwitchGear Brewing Co. is holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Saturday afternoon brings more shenanigans with Oktoberfest games for the adults. Hike up your lederhosen for some keg rolling, stein races and a frau carry taking place on the Shore Club lawn. Live music and tasty brews will be all weekend.
Whether you are eight or eighty, everyone can make memories at Elktoberfest. This year, there’s a very good reason for your entire family to celebrate September in Elkhart Lake in a way you’ve never done before. Take a look at the full list of Elktoberfest activities and overnight packages. Plan your very own Elktoberfest itinerary here: Prost!