Don your dirndls and lederhosen and head to the annual Oktoberfest in Vienna on Oct. 1. This community celebration is one of the largest fall festivals in Northern Virginia with more than 35,000 people in attendance in 2021.
“People come to downtown Vienna to enjoy live music, food vendors, and buy handicrafts,” says Peggy James, Oktoberfest organizer and the executive director of the Vienna Business Association. “All the proceeds from our beer and wine sales go back to the foundation to provide grants to local nonprofits.”
The free festival sprawls across Vienna’s Town Green, along Mill Street NE, Church Street NE, and Center Street, and includes dozens of children’s activities. Oktoberfest has a Food and Beer Court, Main Tent and Biergarten, and Marketplatz, a combination of business exposition and craft market. “There are even pet vendors and woodworking,” adds James.
As is tradition, Vienna’s Oktoberfest centers around beer. Caboose Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in Vienna’s section of the W&OD Trail. This brewery sold more than 100 kegs last year and offers a wide assortment of craft beers in the Food, Beer and Wine Garden. Look for their popular Oktoberfest Märzen, created especially for the season.“You can drink beer and wine in two-thirds of the festival,” says James. Wine drinkers can sip on sangria and other wines sold by Vienna Vintner.
The musical performances are sponsored by Vienna’s own Wolf Trap Foundation, which showcases, Sexton’s German Band, kid-friendly groups, and Irish dancing on three stages.
For food, you can find Burapa Thai, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Caffe Amouri, Tony’s NY Pizza, Cocoa Vienna, and Greenheart Juice, with bratwurst supplied by American Prime.
To avoid parking hassles, take one of the shuttles that run every 15 minutes to Ayr Hill Avenue and Dominion Roads, NE. The buses make a loop from James Madison High School and Vienna Metro North. Of course, you can also walk or ride your bike on the W&OD Trail to get there. Vienna Oktoberfest: Oct. 1, 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Vienna Town Green