The 9 Best Barktoberfest Events to Bring Fido

Posted by Scott Tunstall

What’s better than dressing in unflattering German folk outfits and consuming massive quantities of beer during Oktoberfest? Doing so at Barktoberfest, a canine mashup of the world-renowned Bavarian festival and Halloween. These annual events held across the country every October feature a flurry of pet-friendly festivities including costume contests, pooch parades and fun-filled games for both two- and four-legged attendees to enjoy. Break out the doggy lederhosen and beer steins. It’s time to celebrate Barktoberfest!

Kansas City Barktoberfest

Kansas City, MO
Run, wiener, run!

The 5th Annual Barktoberfest at Berkley Riverfront Park is a two-day pet and music festival jam-packed with dog-centric activities. Fido can overload his Fitbit by joining the Dog & Jog 5K, attempt a Triple Lindy at the DockDogs diving contest, wager a biscuit or two on the wiener dog races, crush the competition at the K-9 Frisbee Toss and Fetch Challenge and last but not least, strike a pose at the Doggy Fashion Show. Free microchipping services and an "Ask a Vet" booth will also be provided.

Barktoberfest at Berkley Riverfront Park runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 13. General admission is $5 per person and VIP packages are available for $50. If you need a place to stay for the weekend, the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center welcomes dogs up to 40 lbs for no additional fee.

St. Louis Barktoberfest

St. Louis, MO
“Did someone say polka?” Photo by

Missouri loves Barktoberfest so much that it hosts two of them this month. After checking out the festivities in Kansas City, drop by the Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. for a rip-roaring good time at St. Louis’ Barktoberfest celebration. The cost of admission includes an official Barktoberfest t-shirt, a craft beer of your choice and yummy treats for your pooch. Enter the canine costume contest for a chance to win bragging rights for best outfit, funniest getup, top dog/owner duo and most Barktoberfestive. If your Dachshund dreams of dancing, he can cut a rug in the Doggie Polka challenge. Ticket sales benefit the Humane Society of Missouri’s Rescued Pet Trauma Fund.

Barktoberfest St. Louis runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15. Admission is $20 per person before September 30, and $25 per person after September 30. Should you need a room for the night, St. Louis is home to more than 35 pet-friendly hotels including one of our favorites, The Cheshire.

Pensacola Barktoberfest

Pensacola, FL
A circle of friendship.

It will be a pooch party in the Sunshine State at Barktoberfest in Community Maritime Park. Pensacola’s largest pet festival and adoption event attracts close to 10,000 dog lovers and their furry companions every year. Fido can dust off his go-to Halloween attire for the costume contest, hit the track to watch the exciting wiener dog races, tap his paws to the Country Canine Square Dancers and get his picture snapped in front of the hand-painted Barktoberfest mural. More than 20 shelters and rescues from across the Panhandle will be in attendance with pups of all sizes and ages seeking fur-ever homes. A fleet of food trucks and the ECUA Quench Buggy will be there to feed the masses and ensure thirsty dogs stay hydrated.

Barktoberfest at Community Maritime Park runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 27. Admission is free. If you’re planning a weekend visit, Pensacola offers several pet-friendly vacation rentals on or near the beach.

Gilbert BARKtoberfest

Gilbert, AZ
“I’m ready for my close-up.”

You and Fido are cordially invited to Gilbert Town Center for fun in the desert sun at BARKtoberfest. Dress your pooch to impress for the costume contest, or exercise his paw-eye coordination in the best trick competition. If your Pomeranian fancies himself a Picasso, he can dip his pads in a palette of non-toxic paints and create a masterpiece worthy of gracing the Museum of Modern Art ... or the wall above your living room couch. When your furry artist is finished, clean his paws off at the dog wash station provided. You can also watch highly-trained accelerant detection canines and police dogs show off their unique skills in live demonstrations. Don’t miss the alumni dog parade, a walking tribute to all the pups adopted from Gilbert’s Friends for Life Animal Rescue.

BARKtoberfest runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. Admission is free. A small donation is required for dog painting. Those spending the night can select from one of 75 pet-friendly hotels in the Phoenix area, such as Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort.

17th Annual Barktoberfest

Round Rock, TX
“Help, my owner lacks imagination.” Photo by Barktoberfest Austin

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the 17th Annual Barktoberfest at Lakeview Pavilion in Old Settlers Park. Dress your pup in his favorite ghoulish guise or silly smock so he can strut his stuff on the 1-mile dog walk before being judged in the spooktacular Halloween costume contest. Local vendors will be on site selling pet-friendly wares, and food tents and trucks will supply tasty eats. Money raised at this event benefits the Central Texas SPCA.

The 17th Annual Barktoberfest runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 26. Admission is free. The cost to enter the dog walk is $30 prior to October 1 and $35 after October 1. After the festival, extend your stay in nearby Austin at a charming pet-friendly vacation rental.

Durham Barktoberfest

Durham, NC
Where's Fido?

Durham might be known as the City of Medicine, but for one day each October it becomes the City of Dogs at Barktoberfest in Durham Central Park. An afternoon of activities includes a costume contest, pooch photo booth, canine food drive, pet walk through the park and a marketplace where you can shop for treats, toys and other pup-related accessories. A mobile coffee bar and Greek food truck will be available to keep those hunger pangs at bay, and local soul band The Mighty Messengers of Soul will take the stage to serenade your Shepherd from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Barktoberfest Durham runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Admission is free. While you’re here, explore this cool college town, let Fido run free at one of Durham’s three dog parks and score free treats by staying at this Hampton Inn and Suites in nearby Raleigh.

Garland City Barktoberfest

Watertown, NY
Time to sleep it off.

It will be a pawty on the patio at Garland City Barktoberfest. Get your drink on from noon to 1 p.m. at the Yappy Hour featuring $3 pint specials for you and bowls of cold water for Fido. Feast on traditional Deutschland delights like Bavarian-style pretzels, bratwurst marinated in German beer and grilled knockwurst. Bring a $10 donation and you’ll be entered to win dinner for two at Garland City Beer Works. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jefferson County SPCA, who will be on hand with adorable pups and cute kitties looking for loving homes.

Garland City Barktoberfest runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 13. Admission is free. Reserve a pet-friendly room at the Best Western Watertown Fort Drum if you plan to spend the weekend at this historic city on the banks of the Black River.

Lincoln Barktoberfest

Lincoln, CA
“I make this dirndl look good.”

You and Fido will be California dreamin’ at Barktoberfest at McBean Park. Score a free t-shirt by dressing your pooch in a stylish autumn ensemble and entering the Strut Your Pup half-mile walk. Afterwards, cool off in the biergarten by sampling a lineup of refreshing pints crafted at local breweries like the dog-friendly Dueling Dogs Brewing Co., which also sells Bowser Beer and yummy canine cookies. Empty your wallets at the pet vendor booths before filling your bellies with grilled hot dogs and fruity shaved ice from the food tent.

Barktoberfest in Lincoln runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 19. Strut Your Pup tickets cost $15 per dog and admission to the biergarten is $30 per person. Sleep off those pints at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in nearby Sacramento.

BARk’s 3rd Annual BARktoberfest

York, PA
“Where’s the beer tent?”

Spend a relaxing day in the country at BARk’s 3rd Annual BARktoberfest at Miller Plant Farm. Dress Fido in a straw hat and overalls to join you on a leisurely hayride around the cornfields, or upgrade his outfit to something more flamboyant for the doggy costume contest. Browse arts and crafts offered by local vendors before digging into a delicious lunch from one of the on-site food trucks. All proceeds go to West York BARk to help animals in need.

BARk’s 3rd Annual BARktoberfest runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 19. York offers plenty of secluded cabins and country hideaways if you’re staying the night.

Will you and your dog be attending a Barktoberfest event this October? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!