The Most Pet-Friendly Oktoberfest Celebrations in the U.S.

Posted by Billy Francis

Oktoberfest started in 1810 as a wedding ceremony for Crown Prince Ludwig of Germany and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royal couple invited the citizens of Munich to attend a huge celebration in front of the city gates, and the rest is history! The festival spread like a lively chicken dance (a traditional Oktoberfest event), and you can now pay homage to your Shepherd’s Germanic ancestry in destinations all over the U.S. Fido’s lederhosen are not mandatory at these awesome pet-friendly Oktoberfest celebrations, but they are definitely recommended.

La Mesa Oktoberfest

La Mesa, CA
“I knew I’d get another use out of my Doggy Parton costume!” Photo by @lamesaoktoberfest

The biggest Oktoberfest celebration in San Diego County, La Mesa Oktoberfest brings the best of Germany to the Pacific Coast. Sink your teeth into traditional eats from more than 40 food vendors and wash it down with a frothy stein of beer in the biergarten. The live German Polka Bands provide the soundtrack for a trip to the Dackeldorf Dachshund Village. The dog-centric area of the festival hosts classic canine activities like a doggie fashion show, trick contest and wiener dog races. Your pup can also try her hand at some traditional yodeling in the Howl-deling contest.

La Mesa Oktoberfest will be held October 4-6, 2019. Book a weekend stay at this Spa Style Studio in La Mesa, where your pup can lounge with the other furry residents.

Oktoberfest USA

La Crosse, WI
"This outfit better get me some bratwurst!" Photo by @sakara.alberts

Despite being located more than 5,000 miles away from Germany in La Crosse, WI, Oktoberfest USA encompasses the authentic, Old World traditions of parades, pageantry and traditional brews. Dogs are invited to attend the Barks & Brews day of the festival. Blink and you might miss the speed demons taking part in the annual Dachshund Dash. For pups who would rather pass on exerting any unnecessary energy, there’s always the Viener Vogue, a stylish costume contest for pampered pooches.

Oktoberfest USA’s Barks & Brews will be held September 29, 2019. Dogs are not permitted on the other days. After the festivities, reward your dog with a night at The Charmant Hotel, a 4-star luxury boutique hotel in downtown La Crosse that provides bowls and beds for dogs.

Denver Oktoberfest

Denver, CO
Wines and wieners. What more could you ask for? Photo by

With the exception of snakes, all pets are welcome at Denver Oktoberfest. This joyful celebration of sauerkraut, brats and Bavarian brunch is an awesome excuse for you and your pooch to stuff your faces and party like it’s 1810 all over again. The much anticipated Long Dog Derby returns this year on September 22. No expense has been spared to create the ultimate race conditions on the artificial grass racetrack. All breeds, shapes and sizes are invited to cheer on the speedy wieners from outside the fenced-in area.

Denver Oktoberfest will be held September 20-22, 2019, and September 27-29, 2019. Pick a weekend and book a room at the beautiful Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver, where four-legged guests are welcome with treats, beds and bowls.

Nashville Oktoberfest

Nashville, TN
“Nashville? I’ll gnash you if you don’t get me out of this thing!” Photo by @nashvilleoktoberfest

Music City knows how to party! If you ever visit Honky Tonk Row, you’ll hear the twangs of country music and rock‘n’roll year-round, but Volksmusic and Oompah are reserved for a special kind of celebration. Commemorating 40 years in 2019, Nashville Oktoberfest is the oldest festival in the city and the second largest in America. Dogs and their owners are invited to march in the annual Pup Parade, part of the main Oktoberfest Parade. Pups who exhibit the coolest and most authentic outfits will be awarded prizes by a panel of esteemed judges. Wiener dogs can go from wurst to best at Von Elrod's Dachshund Derby, too.

Nashville Oktoberfest will be held October 10-13, 2019. The Hermitage Hotel, a historic 5-star hotel in downtown Nashville, invites victorious Dachshunds and their groupies to stay the night. Canine guests are given the exclusive treatment of a plush bed, walking service and a pet room service menu.

Mount Angel Oktoberfest

Mount Angel, OR
“You’ve got a bit of sauerkraut on your face, let me help you with that!” Photo by @sarahegiles

The Old World buildings, authentic eateries and picturesque churches make any visit to Mount Angel feel like a trip to a Bavarian town, and there’s nowhere better to toast the German flag than the official Mount Angel Oktoberfest & Wiener Dog Races. Join the crowds for the traditional street dances, biergarten brews and two days of Dachshund heats. The weekend of bite-sized bolting culminates in the Northwest Champion Wiener Dog Race on Sunday afternoon.

Mount Angel Oktoberfest will be held September 12-15, 2019. Stay at a nearby pet-friendly hotel so you can attend every day of the festival and cheer on your favorite bite-sized bounders.

Cullman Oktoberfest

Cullman, AL
Zero to 5 mph in around 10 minutes. Photo by

Cullman Oktoberfest & Wiener Dog Race in Alabama encompasses all the best things about this boozy European bash. Dogs are invited to ride in a wagon with their owners, soak up the sun in the biergarten and enjoy traditional German music. The main event is the much celebrated Wiener Dog Race. There’s no better way to honor your Dachshunds’ Deutsch roots than to enter them into this pint-sized sprint to the finish line. Which wiener will have the legs to finish first?

Cullman Oktoberfest will be held October 2-5, 2019. If you’re planning on attending more than one day of the event, be sure to reserve a room at one of these pet-friendly properties in Cullman.

Hermann Oktoberfest

Hermann, MO
Dressed for the occasion. Photo by @hermann_the_cowboycorgi

German immigrants settled in Hermann in the 1830s, bringing with them the traditions and architecture of their homeland. When you arrive in town for Hermann Oktoberfest, you’ll see a sprinkling of European flavor on every corner of town. The festival is celebrated every weekend in October, giving you and your pooch ample time to wander the booths of handcrafted items, surrounded by the sounds of traditional music and excited revelers. The fall colors in this scenic area are a treat for the eyes, too.

Hermann Oktoberfest will be held on weekends from October 5 through 27, 2019. Enjoy all that Hermann Oktoberfest has to offer by extending your stay at the Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn. Dogs are welcome at this picturesque vineyard and inn year-round, where they host pet-friendly wedding ceremonies, bake dog biscuits with their own special recipe, and welcome two- and four-legged guests to stay overnight.

Savannah Oktoberfest and Wiener Dog Races

Savannah, GA
Rule No. 15: Ears may not be used as propellers. Photo by

Bring Fido to the Savannah Oktoberfest and Wiener Dog Races, a salute to all sausages (both edible and canine). Wiener dogs and their relatives are invited to enter one of the big races along River Street. There’s not just one race, either. Dogs are divided into categories and weight classes before assembling at the start line. Racing isn’t the only way you and your dog can be stars. Judges will be awarding prizes for best dressed dog, best dressed owner and more.

Savannah Oktoberfest and Wiener Dog Races will be held October 4-6, 2019. Explore the rest of the city with Oliver Bentleys Historic Dog Walking Tours and stay the night at one of the many pet-friendly hotels that Savannah has to offer.

Oktoberfest: Beers, Brats, Best Friends

Scottsdale, AZ
"Two Saving Pups Pumpkin Lagers, please." Photo by

The O.H.S.O Brewery & Distillery in Scottsdale, AZ is the setting for Oktoberfest: Beers, Brats, Best Friends. Indulge in an amazing selection of authentic German food and locally crafted beers, while relaxing on the pet-friendly patio with your best friend. The brewery has even created a special beer for the event with a fall twist, the Saving Pups Pumpkin Lager is packed full of Autumnal goodness. The first 100 guests will receive goody bags and attendees are invited to take part in a dog-centric silent auction and raffle. All the proceeds go to the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL), helping them save over 4,000 homeless animals every year.

Oktoberfest: Beers, Brats, Best Friends will be held on October 20. Extend your visit with a night at The Saguaro Scottsdale, where dogs are provided with a treat and a bowl upon arrival.

Old World Oktoberfest Dachshund Wiener Dog Races

Huntington Beach, CA
Woody the wiener and Buzzed Lightyear. Photo by

Oktoberfest at Old World Huntington Beach is a world-famous affair with delicious German fare, traditional beers, and the iconic Old World Oktoberfest Dachshund Wiener Dog Races. The Dachshund Wiener Nationals (their main event) requires competitors to provide a proof of breed to show that they are 100% certified Dachshunds. Fido needn’t worry if he’s a mixed breed, though, as there are also heats for other small breeds.

Oktoberfest at Old World Huntington Beach runs from September 8 through November 3, 2019. Dogs must be under 25 lbs to attend and are only allowed in outdoor areas and at the Dachshund race events. After his race, let your winning wiener retire to The Waterfront Beach Resort. Canine guests receive a welcome gift at check-in that includes treats, a bowl and waste bags. The on-site restaurant even has a pet menu.

How are you and your dog celebrating Oktoberfest? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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