Each year over 700,000 people look forward to attending Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the nation’s largest Oktoberfest.
The outdoor festival is a celebration of German culture with great food and live entertainment that has been a Cincinnati tradition since 1976.
I’m sharing tips before you go to help you have a great time and make the most of your time in the vibrant Bavarian village.
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When is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, OH?
The days of celebration for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, America’s largest Oktoberfest are Thursday, Sep. 14 through Sunday, Sep. 17.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is sponsored by Samuel Adams and produced by the Cincinnati Regional Chamber.
What Are the Hours for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati This Year (2023)?
Thursday – 4 PM – 10 PM
Friday – 11 AM – 11 PM
Saturday – 11 AM– 11 PM
Sunday – 10AM – 7 PM
How Much is Admission to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?
Admission is free to the four-day festival.
Where is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati?
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is located in downtown Cincinnati on 5th Street.
What Are Your Payment Options at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?
Credit cards and cash are accepted at all beer and Pepsi booths. Some individual food vendors may only accept cash but there are ATMs on site.
Check the Schedule For Daily Entertainment and Featured Events at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
There are 30+ live acts performing at the largest Obtokerfest Celebration in the United States.
Check the daily schedule so that you know where and what time the bands are playing.
Featured Events Schedule for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2023
*Many of the games/ contests for the featured events require registration in advance to participate.
- Opening Ceremonies and G-Games
Thursday, September 14 – 4– 5PM | Main Stage
- Running of the Wieners
Friday, September 15 | 11:30 AM – 2 PM | Main Stage
- Stein Hoist Challenge
Friday, September 15 | 5:30 – 6:00 PM | Main Stage – Zinzinnati FestHalle
- Best Dressed Oktoberfest
Friday, September 15 | 7 – 7:30 PM| Zinzinnati FestHalle
- GACL Oktoberfest Processional
Saturday, September 16 | 11AM – 12:00 PM | Main Stage
- Chicken Dance
Saturday, September 16 | 4 – 4:30 PM | Main Stage
- Bengals Pep Rally
Sunday, September 17 | 10AM – 1:00 PM | Main Stage
- Bengals Game Viewing Party
Sunday, September 17 | 1 – 4:00 PM | Sports Zone
Arrive Early for the Running of the Weiners
The “Running of the Weiners” is one of the fan-favorite events.
Dachshund pups are dressed in a hot dog costume in a race for the coveted title of fastest wiener dog.
If you arrive late it can be a challenge to see the dogs racing due to the crowds around the race perimeter.
Entertainment & Activities at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
Be on the lookout for live music and special events in the following entertainment areas and beer gardens:
- Samuel Adams Mainstage
- Krombacher Fest Tent
- Jägermeister Fest Tent
- Radeberger Fest Tent
- Snyder’s of Hanover Fun Zone Stage
- Weihenstephan Bier Garten
- ZYNZinnati Stage at Hamilton County Festhalle
Book Your Hotel in Downtown Cincinnati in Advance
If you want to stay within walking distance of North America’s Largest Oktoberfest, you’ll want to book a hotel in advance.
- Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza – 35 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH
- Hyatt Regency Cincinnati – 151 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH
- Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel – 36 E 4th St, Cincinnati, OH
- The Westin Cincinnati – 21 E 5th St, Cincinnati, OH
- 21c Museum Hotel – 609 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH
- The Lytle Park Hotel – 311 Pike St, Cincinnati, OH
German-Style Food to Try at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
There are plenty of options for German-style food from local businesses throughout the colorful Bavarian village.
- Potato pancakes
- Soft pretzels
- Sauerkraut Balls
- Anything dish with goetta
- Cream puffs
If you’re not into German cuisine there are plenty of other food options from additional food vendors.
Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Creme puffs and roasted German nuts are very popular treats.
Beer at the Largest Oktoberfest Celebration in the US
There are lots of local, national, and international beers to choose from and plenty of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink options for non-beer lovers too.
There are a few styles of souvenir mugs available for purchase too.
I would recommend bringing a bottle of water to help stay hydrated.
Is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Family-friendly?
Yes, the event is family-friendly. You’ll see lots of families with kids of all ages at the event from newborns on up.
If you plan on visiting with kids I personally would recommend coming during the day when the crowds are a little lighter. Kids will enjoy the activities at the Fun Zone.
In the evening the crowds are LARGE and the main street is PACKED which can make navigating a stroller through downtown Zinzinnati more of a challenge.
Also, keep in mind that walking kids are way shorter than the height of the crowd which can be a bit overwhelming.
If you try to stay on the sidewalks behind the vendors you’ll have an easier time moving around the crowds. There are plenty of areas to spread out near the beer gardens and areas near the stages with seating.
Many of the kids also really enjoy dancing to the music. If my kids were still little I would have tried to get a sitter as my first preference.
I think the event is more fun as an adults-only/ date night/evening out with friends experience but it can still be a good time with your family.
Parking at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati
The garages closest to the event will have higher special event parking prices.
- ParkWhiz ( You can book parking in advance with the app)
- ParkMe (This app also shows how full the lot is)
- Spot Angels (This site tells you the cheapest/ closest parking and the max limit on the meter)
- Parkopedia ( This site includes the walk time to the venue from the parking location and payment options)
If you’re parking at a meter you may want to go ahead and download the following apps to speed up the process and monitor your metered time from your phone.
If you have time on your side I would recommend parking farther away from the event and using the free streetcar downtown. There is a street car stop at Fountain Square that is about a block from the start of the festival.
What Do People Wear to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?
Dress in whatever you are comfortable with.
My fun Oktoberfest-themed leather earrings are by The Playful Pumpkin.
Make sure that your shoes are comfortable because you’ll be getting a lot of steps and standing for the majority of the time.
Don’t Let the Big Crowds Keep You Away
This is a FUN event! Take your time, step away from the big crowds when you need to, and enjoy the great music, food, and drinks.