Tulsa’s Biggest Party Oct. 20-23
With the arrival of October’s clean, crisp breezes, you know it’s time to dust of your Tyrolean hat and dance your way over to Tulsa’s Linde Oktoberfest. This event attracts more than 55,000 visitors in four days. In fact, the festival is ranked as a Top 10 Oktoberfest in the US by USAToday.
Tulsa’s Linde Oktoberfest takes place at River West Festival Park with stunning views of downtown Tulsa across the Arkansas River. Festival-goers come to dance, eat and have fun. And, “bier” is the drink of choice as is the tradition at Oktoberfest festivals all over the world. Stroll through all of the tents and taste close to 80 brands with more than 300 taps.
Jerry Muratore is one of the original founders of Oktoberfest. During festival week, you can find Jerry making the scene in traditional German lederhosen (embroidered leather shorts and suspenders) that he’s worn since 1982 when he became the emcee of one of the beer and entertainment tents. “As an Italian-American growing up in the Northeast, I lived in an Italian and German neighborhood where both ethnicities were celebrated by the entire community. As I consider us all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, I consider us all German for Oktoberfest,” says Muratore.
Bands from Germany are a highlight of the weekend. And, in regular intervals, they play The Chicken Dance, an all-time Oktoberfest favorite. The dance was first brought to Tulsa in 1981 when the Heilbronn Band from Germany demonstrated the dance in costume. The original dance was known as The Duck Dance, but there were no duck costumes readily available in Tulsa for the band to use. However, a local television station had a chicken costume which they donated to the festival, giving The Chicken Dance its name. The Chicken Dance is usually followed by festival patrons hoisting of a stein of traditional Oktoberfest “bier” which can be purchased in 1-liter and ½-liter steins … a crowd-favorite keepsake.
Oktoberfest also features rides, crafts, food and special events including the Bier Barrel Race where team of six race the clock by rolling empty bier barrels from one end of the game tent to the other. Fans line the race course and watch teams try to roll the wobbling barrels and keep them on course. Another fan favorite is the Running of the Wieners (dogs). The race consists of approximately 40 low-bodied hounds competing to win with the fastest speeds.
Tulsa’s Linde Oktoberfest
Dates: October 20-23, 2016
Thursday: 5-11 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 11am-1:00 a.m. (Beer sales end at 12:30 a.m.)
Sunday: noon-6 p.m.
Admission: Kids 12 and under free when accompanied by guardian
- Thursday night: $10 or $7 in advance
- Friday until 4 p.m. free admission Friday after 4 p.m. $10, $7 in advance
- Sat. and Sun. $10, $7 in advance
Location: River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma
Parking: Free shuttle service will operate from the Downtown Loop includes the Blue Dome District, The Tulsa Doubletree Hotel, Hyatt Regency Downtown and the Holiday Inn Tulsa City Center. The NEW Downtown Express Shuttle will operate directly from the Tulsa Transit Hub on South Denver Street to the Festival site. Shuttles will also service parking areas at the Trade Winds Central Inn, and the Marriott Southern Hills. Paid parking is available (limited capacity) near the festival grounds for $10.00 and $20.00.