Dust off your dirndl and hike up your lederhosen because Oktoberfest Muskoka 2023 is back, starting Wednesday, October 18, with a kick-off bash at Sawdust City Brewing in Gravenhurst. Most festival events run the weekend of October 20-22 at venues across Muskoka.
Festival lovers will be joined by Mayors (or their designates) and Chambers of Commerce from across Muskoka’s six municipalities a week from today. They’ll deliver the official Tapping of the Keg ceremony with their own Muskoka twist. Town Crier Bruce Kruger will launch the annual celebration officially with the Happy Wanderers band adding Oom Pah Pah and Zigge Zagge Hoi Hoi sounds to keep the fun and frivolity going.
All are welcome to attend from 3pm to 430pm at Sawdust City Brewing. Admission is free. Wear your Oktoberfest best and be ready to buy a Sagemehl Stadt and hoist a stein or two with friends.
Norah Fountain of the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce explains why Oktoberfest is important for Muskoka. “Oktoberfest Muskoka is always the weekend after the Bala Cranberry Festival which is always the weekend after Thanksgiving. Almost 40 years ago the Cranberry festival was started to extend our shoulder season and Oktoberfest builds on that idea,” explains Fountain. “Not only does it encourage our seasonal residents to stay here longer, it also helps give employees in the tourism and hospitality industry more hours. In turn, that helps encourage staff to come back for seasonal jobs next year.” Of course, she adds, we always want to draw visitors to our area all year round and a culinary, craft beer and music trail like this is just the ticket to bring people to our region.”
Oktoberfest Muskoka runs October 20-22, 2023, and features three days of music, food, and signature Oktoberfest brews from Muskoka’s craft breweries, including Clear Lake Brewing, Sawdust Brewing, Muskoka Brewery and Lake of Bays Brewing. Restaurants and other venues across Muskoka are offering live music from acoustic guitar in smaller restaurants to bands such as the Happy Wanderers, Mr. D and the Polka Kings and Heiner de Wilde Kaiser, originally from Cologne, Germany, who brings his accordion fun out to play. You can buy merchandise from the breweries who have produced special brews just for this event, including a Bock by Lake of Bays Brewing, a Klosch by Clear Lake Brewing, a Sagemehl Stadt at Sawdust Brewing and a Festbier from Muskoka Brewery. Foodies can sample special Oktoberfest delicacies, such as authentic Sauerbraten (Germany’s national dish) at Lakeside Bala, schnitzel and spaetzel, white sausage and beernuts at Bracebridge Barrelhouse and even bratwurst pizza at Bala Bay Takeaway Pizzza Nova..
“We want people to enjoy our communities at their best all year round and residents and visitors alike are guaranteed a good time at Oktoberfest,” says Kelly Haywood, Executive Director, Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce. “We are thankful for the generosity of our lead sponsors Engels & Völkers, TD and Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association. (HMATA) as well as Cottage Vacations, Lakeland Networks, Rosseau Lake College, Muskoka Tourism and the Bala Cranberry Festival, to name a few.”
Learn more at https://www.oktoberfestmuskoka.ca/.