When you think of Germany, Oktoberfest is sure to come to mind. The original Oktoberfest was a celebration of Prince Ludwig’s marriage to the Princess Therese in 1810. The citizens of Munich, Germany were invited to participate and enjoy.
Oktoberfest in the Amana Colonies has been celebrated since 1965 and while not as old it certainly is just as fun. One of the longest running festivals in Iowa, it features special events, food, and music all with an authentic German flare. Exactly what you would expect given our heritage.
Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg
The Bavarian style fun begins with the Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg on Friday the 4th in the historical Festhalle! An Oktoberfest tradition and one you don’t want to miss begins at 2 PM. This ceremony is carried out by the Burgermeister, who leads the keg procession from the brewery to the Festhalle Barn and Oktoberfest grounds. When he arrives, the official first keg of the festival is tapped, and those that formed the parade enjoy a free beer while the first keg is drained. As the beer is flowing, the song Ein Prosit is played, and if you stick around long enough, you will learn the words and know them by heart very quickly!
Saturday starts with a Parade at 10am, featuring creative themed floats from lots of local businesses & groups. Make sure you watch, and pick out your favorite float!
We will also have activities for children, such as a pony-go-round and a Kinderplatz station, with activities for kids of all ages!
The Timber Trek, that is put on by the Amana Colonies Trails is fun for all.
Do you have a competitive side?
Take part in our fun and unique games, which we take very seriously, and they are also seriously fun! Whether you are a seasoned champ, or an eager new challenger, step on up!
- The Brezel Schmeissen is a game with a partner, catch fabric pretzel on your head wearing a plunger device! Make sure that you don’t cross the line or get hit in the face with a big German “Brezel”.
- We have more games such as the log saw, and keg toss.
- Get a group of friends together for the Naglehauen; gather around a log, and hammer in the nails. If you are the first one to get your nail all the way into the log, you are the winner!
- The most prestigious game of them all, the Oktoberfest game of games, is the Eisenmann. A jack of all trades contest, come with your partner, complete 4 events; Masskrugstemmen (stein holding), keg toss, balance walk, and log saw. Put all four events together, and you have yourself a true Amana Colonies Oktoberfest champion.
Every day you will hear different traditional German music, from bands that travel in from all over the states. This festival is all about our German food, and nothing is more German than our own Amana Bratwurst. Made just down the street at the Amana Meat Shop – you’ve got to try one or several.
From the music to the food to the ambiance this event is truly unique. And to be any more German you’d need to get on a plane and fly to Munich! Visitors and local folks dressed up in their traditional German dirndls and lederhosen, it truly feels like you’ve been transported to Bavaria.
We have something for everyone, beer stein holding contest, pretzel tossing, brat eating contest and more. Test your skills in the keg toss and see how far you can toss a keg from one end to another! This festival is something that you don’t want to miss out on, and will make memories for years to come. Look below for our band schedule to check out when your favorite bands are playing. Join us in the Amana Colonies for some Bavarian fun, Prosit!