The 37th Annual Appletonís Octoberfest: What to Know

Live music starts at 9 a.m. right after the commemorate toast in Houdini Plaza

Published Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Mile of Fun since 1981 – it’s Appleton’s Octoberfest, an event of the Fox Cities Chamber! On Saturday, Sept. 29, more than 200,000 people will fill College Avenue in downtown Appleton and enjoy a day filled with live music, food, family-friendly activities, and arts and crafts at the 37th annual Octoberfest. There’s lots going on that weekend, so take advantage of all there is to offer.


Octoberfest Craft Brew Preview

Wisconsin Distributors is hosting an Octoberfest Craft Brew Preview at D2 (403 W College Ave.) on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 5-7 p.m. All the craft beers offered at this year’s festival will be available.


License to Cruise

License to Cruise will take place on Friday, Sept. 28 from 6-9:30 p.m. to kick off the Octoberfest celebration. This year’s feature vehicle is Chevrolet, and classic models will be available for viewing at the Fox Cities P.A.C. in downtown Appleton. This collection is free to the public and available for viewing during the License to Cruise event.


Over 400 other Chevrolet vehicles and classic cars will be lined down College Avenue.


Festivities Kick Off at 9 a.m.

Octoberfest begins with the traditional Spaten beer toast at the Houdini Plaza stage just before 9 a.m. The ceremonial toast is a homage to the annual ritual Spaten keg beer tapping at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.


This year, special guests will include nonprofit grant recipients, members of the Octoberfest Committee and Octoberfest Board of Directors. The general public is encouraged to come early and join in the toast. The Newtonburg Oktoberfest Band will perform during the ceremony.


Following the celebratory toast, live music will begin on all six Octoberfest stages at 9 a.m.


New This Year – Family Fun Yoga

For the first time ever, Octoberfest is a hosting a free Family Fun Yoga session in partnership with Empower Yoga and Lawrence University. It is from 9:15-10:15 a.m. on Lawrence University’s Main Hall lawn at 501 E. College Ave. Yoga enthusiasts of all ages are welcome, and we encourage participants to bring their own mats.


Plan Your Transportation

Valley Transit will be offering $0.25 fares on all regular routes during Friday night's License to Cruise beginning at 3:45 p.m. and on all regular Valley Transit bus routes on Saturday. In addition, a special park and ride service will be offered on Saturday. Locations include: Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton East High School (Schaefer Street lot), Goodwill Industries – Menasha and Valley Packaging (Roemer Road location).  


Catch your cab, taxi, Uber and Lyft on Washington Street from Oneida Street west to Appleton Street. Festivalgoers using Lyft can save $5 on their ride when using the promo code “DILLYDILLY” during Octoberfest.


Complimentary O’Doul’s is available to anyone who chooses to be a designated driver on Saturday, Sept. 29. All designated drivers must be at least 21 years of age and purchase a designated driver wristband for $1 at any wristband booth. O’Doul’s is available at all beer stands at Octoberfest.


For more information including maps, shuttle service and bus arrival/departure information, visit


Download the Octoberfest App and Stay Up To Date

The official 2018 Octoberfest app can be downloaded for free in the Apple App and Google Play stores. The app has complete event information including the concert schedule, food booth options, an event map, park and ride details, and frequently asked questions.


Volunteer at Octoberfest

Bartenders are needed for Octoberfest, and volunteers will receive a special t-shirt as a “thank you” for dedicating their time and an invitation to the year-end volunteer party. For more information and to sign up, visit If you’re interested in signing up as a group, email us at


Support Your Community and Take a Piece of Octoberfest With You

Octoberfest t-shirts are available now for purchase at Bazil’s Pub and Items of Interest in Appleton. Apparel will also be for sale during License to Cruise and Octoberfest.


Octoberfest is made possible by the charitable contributions from event sponsors: Title Sponsor

Budweiser; Presenting Sponsor Tundraland; Premier Sponsors: Chase/JP Morgan, Appleton Harley-Davidson; Executive Sponsor McCain; Family Fun Area Sponsor the Wisconsin Herd. License to Cruise Corporate Sponsors: Tundraland, Pick ‘n Save. In partnership with Appleton Downtown, Inc., BConnected, Element, Lamers Bus Lines, Inc., Van’s Waste, Inc., and Valley Transit.


Octoberfest media sponsors include 105.7 WAPL, 95.9 KISS FM, KZ 104.3 FM, RAZOR 94.7/104.7, 95.3 The Score, WHBY and WGBA-NBC26. License to Cruise media sponsors include 103.9 WVBO and WNAM 1280 AM.