October 28th: 36th Annual Island Oktoberfest


Galveston’s Premier Fall Festival is Back

Galveston’s premier fall festival, the 36th Annual Island Oktoberfest, kicks off Friday evening, October 27th, 5-11pm and continues Saturday, October 28th, 11am-11pm. This fun, family weekend will feature continuous live entertainment on two stages, authentic German food and libations, Cake Wheel, fine arts, crafts and gifts, an exciting auction, fun, family and expanded children’s activities, and much more.

Oktoberfest will be held on the grounds and streets adjacent to First Lutheran Church, 24th and Winnie in historic Downtown Galveston. Admission is free. German costumes encouraged.

Island Oktoberfest, hosted by First Evangelical Lutheran Church and co-sponsored by Del Papa Distributing Company, will open Friday evening with themed-Bier Garten venues-featuring a variety of both German and domestic brews and a variety of German-style wines from nearby Haak Vineyards. New this year, Oktoberfest will host a special wine-tasting event with Haak Winery and a beer-tasting event with Del Papa.

Entertainment this year includes the return, for the 16th year, of the crowd favorite Mid Life Crisis, headlining the Music Stage on Friday evening. Master of Ceremonies Valina Polka and Das Ist Lustig will headline the Family Stage Friday evening and perform again on the Family Stage during the day/evening,  Saturday. Aug Gehts will headline the Music Stage during the day Saturday, while popular Austin musician, Chris Rybak, returning by popular demand, will headline the Music Stage Saturday evening.  Also set to return for this year’s festival will be Becky and Klaus and Kevin Anthony.

Other popular entertainment returning for the 36th annual Island Oktoberfest include the strolling TubaMeisters, Fanfare! The Lutheran Music Academy Children’s Choir, Deer Park High School German Dance Troupe, Rathkamp German Folk Dancers, Keine Kunst Folk Dancers, and AlpenMusikanten.

In addition to great music and dancing, there will be superb food and drink including smoked sausage, bratwurst, knockwurst, and “Wurstabendessen”- a sausage dinner comprised of German-style and Polish style Wurst with all the traditional German side dishes. This special German Dinner will be available both Friday evening and Saturday. For a sweet finale, homemade Helmut’s strudel, freshly baked on site, will be offered in addition to a variety of tempting homemade desserts specially prepared by congregation members from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Handmade pretzels, freshly-popped popcorn, and a variety of soft drinks will also be sold at the festival.

The historic and beautifully-renovated circa 1860 Lyceum will again be open 5-9pm Friday evening and 11am-7pm on Saturday with vendors showcasing exceptional hand-crafted arts, crafts, and gift items for those festival goers eager to get a head start on holiday shopping. Because Oktoberfest continues to be one of the vendors’ most enjoyable and popular venues, regular attendees can look forward to shopping at their long-time favorite booths, each featuring Christmas and other special gift items. Shoppers always look forward to knowing that their favorite vendors have returned to showcase their best products.

This year, families and children of all ages can look forward to an expanded Kids’ Zone. Planned activities include a rock wall, 4-way Bungee Trampoline, Mechanical Bull, Dual Lane Giant slide, a large Obstacle Course, Moonwalk, Petting Zoo, and pony rides. The little ones will enjoy a Jungle Playland. These planned activities would be in addition to the “motorized” animals, face painting, and other fun arts and crafts.

No animals will be allowed on the festival grounds. For more info go to galvestonoktoberfest.com, call (409)762-8477, or follow the event on Facebook at Island Oktoberfest. All proceeds benefit programs and outreach for First Lutheran Church in Galveston.