Ho ho ho, merry Christmas! Have I got a gift for you! Have you been a good girl or boy this year? Wait–don’t answer that. There are some things a girl pretending to be Santa just doesn’t need to know. I’m going to gift you a little sumpin’-sumpin’ regardless: the Oktoberfest 2018 Schedule of (Really Awesome) Events!
If you’re thinking it’s too early to start planning your Oktoberfest 2018 schedule, well then you need to pull the candy canes out of your ears and wise up, Frosty. Hotel rooms are already going fast, you still need to pick out dirndls and lederhosen to squeeze your jingle bells into, and you’ve got an entire library of Oktoberfest songs to learn. Joy to the world, Oktoberfest is coming!
Oktoberfest 2018 Schedule of Events
Saturday, September 22nd
9 a.m. | Oktoberfest begins! Pretty much! Beer won’t be served yet but the tents are open and waiting for your butts to fill them up.
11 a.m. | The Oktoberfest opening day parade makes it way into the Theresienwiese. Tent owners, landlords, hosts and their families, all those other lucky folks you need to try to make friends with before next year, and the local breweries arrive to the Oktoberfest grounds on decked-out horse-drawn beer carriages. The whole parade of about 1,000 participants is lead by the Münchner Kindle, Munich’s monk mascot who’s, ironically enough, a beautiful woman. (Way to turn that around, Germany!) Fancy checking the parade out? Here’s a map (red line).
Noon | O’zapft is! – That’s German for “The keg’s tapped, y’all!” In the Schottenhamel tent, the Lord Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, taps the first Oktoberfest keg of 2018. Not until this happens can beer be served anywhere at Oktoberfest so clearly this is the most important phrase you’ll hear all year.
Sunday, September 23rd
10 a.m. | Traditional costume parade marches through Munich. Almost 10,000 participants make their way from the centre of Munich to the Theresienwiese led again by that beautiful “monk-like” creature. The parade features traditional costumes and dancing, marching bands, flag bearers, and the best possible examples of German engineering—the horse-drawn beer carriages. Fancy checking the parade out? Here’s a map (blue line).
All day and night and probably then some| Gay Sunday! Get your Gaga over at the Pschorr-Bräurosl, the 8,400-seat tent known for their resident yodeler and, this is probably just a coincidence, their whip-snappers.
Tuesday, September 25th
All day until 7 p.m. | The first of two Oktoberfest family days. All rides and performances are discounted today. Because what else are your kids going to do at Oktoberfest? (But I bet we know what you’re doing when the clock hits 7:00.)
Thursday, September 27th
10 a.m. | Traditional religious Oktoberfest mass and memorial held (that’s mass, not maß). There’s also the opportunity to get baptized and first communion-ed because of course there is.
Second weekend of Oktoberfest
Sometime after siesta, I presume | It’s Italian weekend! If you’re a resident of Italy, chances are you’ll be at Oktoberfest this weekend learning that stein hoisting cannot exist where flagrant hand gestures do.
Sunday, September 30th
11 a.m. | All the brass bands (plus drums and traditional alphorns) from all the Oktoberfest beer tents come together at the feet of the Bavaria statue for a massive outdoor concert. This is typically conducted by the Mayor and other local celebrities who have absolutely no idea how to conduct an alphorn. And a-one, and a-two, and a…
Tuesday, October 2nd
All day until 7 p.m. | Last Oktoberfest family day! All rides and performances are discounted because you didn’t learn your lesson the first time and you brought your kids back to the Wiesn. #its7oclocksomewhere
Sunday, October 7th
Noon | Known as a Boellerschiessen, the traditional gun salute marking the end of Oktoberfest takes place beneath the Bavaria statue by the survivors winners of the Oktoberfest shooting competition. So an Oktoberfest shooting competition—that’s a thing.
11:30 p.m. | Unofficial closing ceremony of Oktoberfest takes place in the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The lights dim, the sparklers are lit, and your worries that 10,000 drunken revelers are waving fire spears are few and far between. Join hands, sway, and sing your heart out – for it’s another 350-something days until Oktoberfest 2019.
Other Important Oktoberfest 2018 Schedule Things to Know
Beer Serving Hours
Opening day: noon – 10:30 p.m.
Weekdays: 10 a.m.– 10:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays & holidays: 9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Oktoberfest closes 12:30 a.m. (‘Käfers Wiesnschänke’ and ‘Weinzelt’ open until 1 a.m.) ⇠ Must. Find out. Where these are.
Open Hours of Theresienwiese Stalls
Opening day: 10 a.m. – midnight
Mondays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m. – midnight
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – midnight
Sundays: 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fairground Attractions & Shows
Opening day: noon – midnight
Mondays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays: 10 a.m. – midnight
Sundays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
It’s the end of the world ‘fest as we know it, and I feel fine DREADFUL.
Sunday, October 7th, 2018 11:30 p.m.
So there you have it—my gift to you. Since I’m not actually getting you anything, that is… awkward… The Oktoberfest 2018 schedule will be taking place before you know it and it’s never too early to start planning (and working off all that fruitcake, pal).