Discover Downtown: Octoberfest

What to Know for the 38th Annual Appleton’s Octoberfest

Live music starting at 9 a.m. with great food and fun for the entire family

Appleton’s largest block party is back on Saturday, Sept. 28, to celebrate A Mile of Fun since 1981. Appleton’s Octoberfest, an event of the Fox Cities Chamber, brings more than 200,000 people to College Avenue in downtown Appleton to enjoy a day full of food, live music, family-friendly activities and arts and crafts. 

Octoberfest Craft Brew Preview

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 5-7 p.m., Wisconsin Distributors will be hosting an Octoberfest Craft Brew Preview at D2 (403 W. College Ave.). Complimentary samples of craft beers at Octoberfest specialty bars will be available, including the winner from the IPA naming contest: Eins Zwei DreiPA. There will also be live entertainment by Kyle Megna and Ross Catterton Duo.

License to Cruise 

License to Cruise will kick off Appleton’s Octoberfest on Friday, Sept. 27, from 6-9:30 p.m. This year’s feature vehicle is GM, and rare-edition or very-low-production GM vehicles will be displayed at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center indoor collection. This collection is free to the public and available for viewing during the event. Over 400 other classic cars will be lined down College Avenue.

Festivities Begin at 9 a.m.

Octoberfest will get under way with the traditional Spaten beer toast at the Houdini Plaza stage just before 9 a.m. The ceremonial toast is a tribute to the annual ritual Spaten keg beer tapping at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. 

This year’s special guests include Tim Hanna, mayor of Appleton; Dean Kaufert, mayor of Neenah; Donald Merkes, mayor of Menasha; Anthony Penterman, mayor of Kaukauna; nonprofit grant recipients; members of the Octoberfest Committee and the Octoberfest Board of Directors. The public is encouraged to come early and be a part of the toast. The Newtonburg Oktoberfest Band will also be performing during the ceremony. 

Following the toast, live music will begin at 9 a.m.

Plan Your Transportation

Valley Transit will be offering $0.25 fares on all their regular routes during Friday night’s License to Cruise starting at 3:45 p.m. and on all regular Valley Transit bus routes on Saturday. They will also provide a special park and ride service during Saturday’s festivities. Locations include: Fox valley Technical College, Appleton East High School (Schaefer Street lot) Goodwill Industries – Menasha and Valley Packaging (Roemer Road location). 

Catch your cab, taxi, Uber and Lyft on the north side of Washington Street from Oneida Street west to Superior. Festivalgoers using Lyft can save $5 on their ride when using the promo code “OFEST” during Octoberfest. 

Complimentary O’Doul’s will be available to anyone who chooses to be a designated driver on Saturday, Sept. 28. Designated drivers must be at least 21 years of age and purchase a designated driver wristband for $2 at any wristband booth. O’Doul’s will be available at all beer stands at Octoberfest. 

For more information including maps, shuttle service and bus arrival/departure information, visit

Download the Octoberfest App and Stay Informed

The 2019 Octoberfest app can be downloaded for free in both the Apple App and Google Play stores. The app has complete event information to keep you up to date on the concert schedule, food booth options, an event map, park and ride details and more frequently asked questions. 

Volunteer at the 2019 Octoberfest

Over 600 volunteers contribute their time to Octoberfest each year, and volunteers are needed for the 3-5:30 p.m. bartending shift. All volunteers receive a free T-shirt and an invitation to the year-end party. For more information on volunteering or to sign up, please visit

Support Your Community While Taking a Part of Octoberfest Home With You

Octoberfest apparel will be for sale during License to Cruise and Octoberfest in front of the City Center. Hats and T-Shirts can be purchased for $15 and hooded sweatshirts for $30. 

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