Tips For Attending Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, OH

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.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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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.

food vendor at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati at night in Cincinnati Ohio

How Much is Admission to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?

Admission is free to the four-day festival.

 Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

Where is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati?

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is located in downtown Cincinnati on 5th Street.

 steins at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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.

dachshund race at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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
weiner dog at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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.

band at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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
view of cincinnati

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.

You can compare prices on hotels and vacation rentals in Cincinnati.

German Cuisine at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati

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
  • Bratwurst
  • Metts
  • Sauerkraut Balls
  • Strudel
  • Anything dish with goetta
  • Cream puffs
ribbon potatoes with goetta at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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 Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati Ohio

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.

fun zone at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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.

Streetcar in Cincinnati Ohio

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.

dachshund hat at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

What Do People Wear to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?

Dress in whatever you are comfortable with.

You’ll see festival attendees wearing lots of lederhosen and dirndls along with quirky Oktoberfest t-shirts and other quirky Bavarian-themed hats and accessories.

woman at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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.

couple at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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.

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