Frontier Park is the location of some of the biggest annual events in St. Charles including Riverfest and the Festival of the Little Hills. But each year at the end of September, crowds gather in the park to enjoy a little German culture at St. Charles Oktoberfest. The three-day celebration is family-friendly event complete with a parade, German music, a car show, 5K run and more.
When and Where
Charles Oktoberfest is held each year during the last weekend in September. In 2016, the celebration is Friday, September 23 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. St. Charles Oktoberfest is held along the banks of the Missouri River in Frontier Park. The park is a short walk from Main Street and Historic St. Charles. Admission is free, but you do need to buy a $2 wristband if you want to buy beer from festival vendors.
One of the highlights of St. Charles Oktoberfest is the parade along Main Street. Dozens of vehicles and other participants show off their German heritage with colorful displays. The parade begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. It starts at the Foundry Arts Center, travels down Main Street, then left on Boone’s Lick Road to Riverside Drive and finishing once again at the Foundry Arts Center.
Prizes are awarded to the top finishers in each category including German heritage, most entertaining, most creative and best band.
Other Top Events
In addition to the parade, St. Charles Oktoberfest is filled with many other events like the Oktoberfest 5K, Root Beer Fun Run, "Weiner Takes All" dachshund derby, kids play area and an antique car show.
Of course, you'll also find all kinds of German food and beer for sale, plus three full days of live music and entertainment. For more information and the complete schedule of events, see the St. Charles Oktoberfest website.
Parking and Shuttle Service
There are public parking lots all along Riverside Drive right across from Frontier Park, but they fill up quickly. There is also street parking in Historic St. Charles if you are lucky enough to find a spot. An easier option might be the free shuttle service to and from the festival grounds. For more information on parking and shuttle bus service, see the festival website.
More Local Oktoberfests
St. Charles' celebration isn't the only Oktoberfest in the St. Louis area. There are also annual festivities in Belleville, Hermann, Augusta and the big bash each October in Soulard. For more information, read Top Oktoberfests in the St. Louis Area or Your Guide to Soulard Oktoberfest.