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Oktoberfest NorthwestI just love this time of year! With our German heritage, my family and I enjoy celebrating Oktoberfest each and every fall.

Some years that means hosting a gathering at our house (here are some ideas for hosting your own!), some years we just make a special intimate dinner with a smaller crowd (serving this authentic rouladen recipe!) and some years we make the trek to Leavenworth for their big multi-weekend event.

Oktoberfest NorthwestBut last year we decided to try something different.

Longing to enjoy a big to-do, but not really wanting to expense a whole weekend east of the mountains (it gets pricey with a two-night minimum stay on festival weekends), we checked out the festivities at Oktoberfest Northwest held at the Washington State Fair & Event Center in Puyallup, WA.

And we were not disappointed!

Oktoberfest NorthwestThis weekend marks the 10th anniversary of this fun indoor event and I hope you will join me in the revelry!

Event Dates:
October 3-5, 2014
Event Hours:
Friday- Noon – midnight
Saturday – 11a – midnight
Sunday – 11a – 6pm

Oktoberfest NorthwestLocation:
Washington State Fair and Events Center in Puyallup

FREE on Friday from noon-3pm
Regular Price after 3pm on Friday and all day Saturday ($10)
Sunday HALF PRICE all day ($5) courtesy of Alaska Airlines and The News Tribune
Children 12 and under FREE ALL WEEKEND

Oktoberfest NorthwestThe biergarten certainly is impressive, but to keep us all safe please be smart about your transportation plan –  there are free soft drinks or drip coffee for those who sign up as a designated driver.

Families are welcome in the Festhalle Biergarten until 7 p.m. each evening (Sunday, families are welcome all day!); for the remainder of the evening, guests must be 21 years of age or older.

Oktoberfest NorthwestAnd there are plenty of activities for the whole family!

The German School of Tacoma will be on site with special arts and crafts projects.

Oktoberfest NorthwestKids won’t want to miss the opportunity to take part in an authentic May Pole dance with members of the Enzian Schuhplattler Dancers, pumpkin decorating and games like Corn Hole Toss and more.

Oktoberfest NorthwestOn Saturday and Sunday only there will also be free face painting and an ALL-NEW Scavenger Hunt with a fun prize for every child who participates while supplies last.

Kids can pick up their Scavenger Hunt instructions at the Root Bier Garden between noon and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Oktoberfest NorthwestThe game, Hammerschlagen, is a popular activity at Oktoberfest. The goal is to drive a nail into a cross-section of wood faster than your opponent.

Each year the Best of the Best compete for a space in the Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions Wall of Champions.

Oktoberfest NorthwestWho will be champion in 2014? Could it be you? Sign up on site at the event for your chance at bragging rights, glory, and a whole mess of great prizes.

2014 Prizes:
1st place: $150 and commemorative Seahawks Super Bowl Champion  stein
2nd place: $50 and event stein
3rd place: event stein

Oktoberfest NorthwestChildren are encouraged to not play Hammerschlagen in the adult area for safety reasons.

There is a Kids Hammerschlagen with kid-sized hammers and easy to hit nails (children need to be supervised by an adult to play)!

Oktoberfest NorthwestFind that perfect gift for someone (or yourself!) while wandering among all of the great souvenirs at the German Corner.

The German Corner features everything from steins to cookbooks to authentic German clothing. Browse their selection ahead of time at www.germanplaza.com

Oktoberfest NorthwestI plan on buying one of these cute little purses this year! I do hope they have them again!

Oktoberfest NorthwestEntertainment at Oktoberfest Northwest keeps the party going all day long and late into the night!

Oktoberfest NorthwestWhether you’re looking to sway to the sounds of Edelweiss, get plucky with the Chicken Dance or hit the dance floor to the late hours of the night, Oktoberfest Northwest has it all!

Oktoberfest NorthwestOn Friday, October 3, at 6:15pm join in the fun as they tap the Oktoberfest Firkin to officially open Oktoberfest Northwest!

And don’t miss  the swing girl! Manuela Horn & her Oktoburlesques! At nearly seven feet tall, this Austrian Amazon will perform yodelicious interpretations of new & classic Top 40 hits.

Oktoberfest NorthwestManuela is the Queen of Oktoberfest.  With the motto “It’s always Oktoberfest somewhere,” Manuela emcees and headlines the biggest Oktoberfests across America.

Oktoberfest NorthwestOh! And the FOOD! My goodness!

Oktoberfest NorthwestYou want brats and beer? You’ve got it.

Plus pretzels, schnitzel, strudel, and a whole list of other authentic German treats! Like the tasty Cabbage Rous (Kraut Roulden) in tomato sauce, and the Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancake) served with apple sauce and sour cream!

German food heaven!

Oktoberfest NorthwestAlso back by popular demand this year is the Oktoberfest Northwest Running of the Wieners!

Multiple races, costume contests, great fun for the whole family in a stadium atmosphere right inside the heart of the event.

Oktoberfest NorthwestThis is a Sunday-only attraction. Go here for more details or to register your wiener. Click here for a schedule of events!

Oktoberfest NorthwestDon’t forget – admission if free on Friday (today!) until 3 pm – so hurry down (and maybe we can do the chicken dance together!) See you there!