Insider’s Guide to Dayton Oktoberfest 

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has a look at how hot we get and if you'll need an umbrella!

You probably can’t tell it by the temperature, but fall is calling, and so are brats, bier and a whole lot of art. 

It’s time for the Dayton Art Institute’s annual Oktoberfest and events surrounding it. 

>> MORE: 7 fall festivals that we love

The celebration is set for Sept. 22 to 24 on the grounds of the museum, located at 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton. 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest 2016

As one of the Dayton-area’s biggest festivals (it’s been going on for a whopping 46 years) it can be a little intimidating, so whether its your first time or you’re looking to make the most of it, here’s your insider’s guide:


Delicious German-inspired dishes from the Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest. STAFF FILE PHOTO(Contributing Writer)

The fun kicks off with a Lederhosen Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. Admission to the community-style lunch is free. 

Brats, metts and tenderloins will be $5, and potato salad and the homemade noodles are $3 (or you combo it with a dessert for $10).

The beer and wine is $5. The beer list includes Miller Lite, Terrapin High 5 IPA, Blue Moon, Crispin Original Apple Cider, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest and Harvest Shandy, and Warsteiner’s Dunkel, Oktoberfest, Koenig Ludwig Hefeweiss, and Pilsner beers. Wines are Michelle Sparkling Brut, Dr. L Riesling, Rodney Strong Chardonnay, Save Me San Francisco Cabernet Sauvignon, and Deloach Pinot Noir.

The preview party will also feature these beverages (more below). Askins said that while lederhosen is certainly welcome, it is not mandatoryor even expected.


Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

The Oktoberfest Preview Party starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. 

It includes complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. There will be 65 artisan exhibitors and 30 food vendors.

There will be a cash bar for international beer and premium wine, and the cover band This Side Up will perform.

>> 50 ideas for your Dayton bucket list

Advance tickets for the Preview Party are $55 for members and $75 for non-members. Admission at the gate is $95. 


Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Oktoberfest is noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

>> When the community came together to open the Dayton Art Institute

It includes artisan booths, plenty of food, kid-friendly activities, music on two stages and lots and lots of international, domestic and craft beer (and wine, too).

Football will be played on four big screen TVs in the so-called “TV Cave.” 

Advance admission is $5 for adults and $3 for those ages 60 and older and ages 7 to 19. Admission at the gate is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. Children ages 6 and younger are free. 

There will be a full live music lineup and art-related activities for children. 

>>MORE: Here’s what bands are playing at DAI’s Oktoberfest this year


Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest got under way Friday, Sept. 25, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 27. The event features more than 40 different beers, including international and local craft. Food ranges from brats and mets to pork chops to pretzels, baklava and kettle corn. Artisans offer jewelry, clothing, artwork and unique gifts for sale. Dayton’s largest festival, Oktoberfest helps the museum continue to offer cultural enrichment and community outreach.

According to DAI organizers, the food options remain fairly consistent from year to year, with popular favorites such as Zombie Dogz and the Associate Board Alumni (the museum’s own) Brats & Metts. The few notable newbies this year are Kona IceNida Thai, and the Drunken Waffle, which features such delicacies as the Reservoir Dog (a waffled corn dog), the Boba Feta Burger (quarter pounder topped with feta cheese and pesto between a waffle), and the Bocheesian Rhapsody (grilled cheddar and Jack cheese between a waffle). 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute Art Ball 2017


Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

For the main two-day party, the one beer truck open for the lederhosen lunch and preview party will be joined by five others, bearing breweries such as Fat Head, Mad Tree, Dogfish, Great Lakes, and popular individual varieties such as New Belgium Fat Tire, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, and Stone Arrogant Bastard. 

On the wine side, an additional Riesling, Chardonnay, and two Cabernet Sauvignons will be added, as well as a Pinot Grigio and a Dark Red.

>>MORE: More than 40 beers to try this weekend at Dayton Oktoberfest


The new official mug of the Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest, which typically sells 1,000 each year, comes in 16 and 21-ounce varieties and is made by Bubba Jones Cups. Cups and growlers will be available, too. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Every year, the DAI offers an “official mug of Oktoberfest.” According to Chris Schairbaum, DAI Oktobefest Co-Chair, they typically sell over 1,000 of these each year. This year, Bubba Jones Cups, an Ohio potter who specializes in handmade ceramic items for craft breweries and enthusiasts, is designing the mug. There will be 16-ounce and 32-ounce mugs available, along with a few ceramic growlers. A mug purchase comes with a free beer ticket.

According to Askins, they had a larger-than-usual group of artisans applying to participate this year, including Renata Kelly, a wearable art artisan who makes, among other things, a shawl one can wear eight different ways.

>>Oktoberfest: 15 early images of the Dayton Art Institute tradition

“Every year, I go home with a new pair of earrings or a bracelet,” said Askins. “We have a handful of people who work in metal and glass, everything from large sculptures you can hang outside to centerpieces for large rooms to items that can fit in your hand. We have committee heads for all of these areas, and they really went above and beyond as far as recruitment.” 


Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

The Dayton Art Institute offers some tips and advice for navigating Oktoberfest.

On Friday, September 22, parking will only be available on the museum’s front drive and on the surrounding neighborhood streets; very limited handicapped accessible parking will be available at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. 

During the Lederhosen Lunch on Sept. 22, RTA will provide free shuttles from downtown Dayton to The DAI from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. RTA shuttle riders may board and exit shuttles at any stop along the route that runs from the Oregon District, west along Fifth Street, north on Main Street, Second Street, Wilkinson Street and Monument Avenue to the Lederhosen Lunch. Patrons needing special assistance or access during this time may call the museum’s Guest Services Desk, at 937-223-4ART (4278).

During the Oktoberfest Preview Party, 7–11 p.m. on Friday, September 22, shuttle service will be offered from the University of Dayton parking lot behind the Marriott, just off Patterson Boulevard. 

>>MORE: Here’s how to park at Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest


The easiest way of getting to and from the museum during Oktoberfest is by using the free shuttle services. Look for the Oktoberfest signs and park for free at the University of Dayton lot behind the Marriott, just off Patterson Boulevard, and take free shuttles directly to and from Oktoberfest. On September 23–24, you may also park downtown and take a free RTA Oktoberfest shuttle, with stops along Monument Avenue, Wilkinson Street, Second Street, Main Street, and Fifth Street. Bicycle racks, courtesy of Bike Miami Valley, will be available near the main festival entrance at Belmonte Park and Riverview Avenue on Saturday and Sunday, noon–7 p.m.

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4 Oktoberfest festivals we can't wait for this fall

Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 @ 11:50 AM
Updated: Friday, September 01, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Dayton Daily News Dining Divas Michelle Fong and Connie Post get the scoop on the beer, the fun and why Oktoberfest is held in September.

Summer may be winding down, but that just means the fall festival season is revving its engine and ready to go. Dayton is lucky enough to be surrounded by some great Oktoberfest events every year. 

Here is a list of Oktoberfest celebrations we can’t wait to enjoy:

Englewood Oktoberfest – Sept. 2

The German Club Edelweiss at 531 E. Wenger Road hosts this one-day event, featuring music by Chris Weiss and Frank Moravcik. Sauerkraut, potato salad schnitzel and more are featured food options for this festival, which runs from 2-11 p.m. Admission is $3. Children 16 and younger are admitted free.

>> Our picks: Dayton's best potato salads

Springboro Oktoberfest – Sept. 8-9

Cathy Simmons and her son Clark, 10 months, of Springboro wait backstage for the annual German costume show at the German Picnic. Simmons bought her traditional German dress at an Oktoberfest in Germany in 2004. She and a friend created her son's lederhosen for the festival.(Jan Underwood)

This festival, now in its fifth year, offers hearty helpings of German food and possibly the best selection of wursts in a 50-mile radius, to include Spicy Pepper Jack Wurst, Apple Gouda Chicken Wurst and Kale (yes, kale) and Asiago Wurst. Pretzels, pickles, sauerkraut balls onion pie and much more fill a delectably intriguing menu. More than a dozen craft beers will be available to help you wash all that down. 

>> 4 things that will make this Oktoberfest celebration bigger and better this year

This year, several Dayton and Cincinnati-area breweries have come together to produce their own brews just for this event.

Admission is $3 and proceeds go to help a number of worthy charities, including The Military Order of the Purple Heart, The Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Springboro Community Assistance Center.

Oktoberfest at Dayton Art Institute - Sept. 22-24

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Things kick off on 11 a.m. Friday with the Lederhosen Lunch. Food is available for purchase, and admission is free. That will be followed by a Preview Party at 7 p.m., with complimentary draft beer, wine and soft drinks. Admission in advance is $55 for members and $75 for non-members. Tickets cost $95 at the gate.

>> What you need to know about DAI’s Oktoberfest (it’ll be here sooner than you think)

The main event (Sept. 23-24) features domestic, international and craft beers, international wines, food, kid-friendly art activities and more, with live music on two stages throughout the weekend. Admission in advance: $5 (adults), $3 (seniors and youth). Admission at gate: $7 (adults) $5 (seniors and youth).

Minster Oktoberfest - Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Organizers say more than 80,000 people flock to the Auglaize County village each year for this festival emphasizing the community’s German heritage. Music, food, and, of course, beer are the stars of the event. However, Minster’s Oktoberfest offers unique twists like beer tray relays, a jug hoist, a car show and a 10k run to help clear space for all those calories.

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How much money did LadyFest Dayton raise?

Published: Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 10:26 AM
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 10:26 AM

The numbers are in.

The sixth LadyFest Dayton was a rousing success, both on the stage and away from it. The two-day event celebrating the contributions of women in music and art was brought back to life in 2015, and raised $6,500 for the Kettering We Care Arts Center.

This year’s event, held at the Yellow Cab Tavern, was expanded to include three indoor stages, with vendors, informational booths and carnival games. LadyFest Dayton organizers announced this week that this year's event raised $8,300 for the YWCA, on top of items donated from the organization’s list of needs.

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5 reasons to go to Springboro's bicentennial celebration

Published: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 @ 1:59 PM

It’s a three-day marathon. The city of Springboro is celebrating its 200th birthday with events for the whole family.  Bonus: nearly all of the events are free to the public.

Here are the top 5 things to do/see/enjoy:

JULY 3rd:

 1. The Fastrax Parachute Demonstration Team

This professional parachuting and skydiving team is scheduled to jump at 9:15 p.m.

2. The Fireworks Extravaganza!

What a cool way to kick off the first night? Fireworks will light up the sky at 10:30 p.m. (Rain date: July 5th)

JULY 4th:

3. One, U2 Tribute and '80s/'90s Rock

Who doesn’t like a free concert? The live music offers a little something from everyone. In addition to cover bands, make sure you come out to hear performances by Ashley Martin Band, Willow Creek Blue Grass Band, Warren County Sheriff’s Bag Pipe and Drum Corps and more.

4. Comedian, ventriloquist and juggler, all in one!

Prepare to be entertained by Mike Hemmelgarn, who is scheduled to impress the audience starting at 12:30 p.m.

JULY 5th:

 5. Berachah Valley Blue Grass Gospel

This band of six is the perfect way to wrap up the festivities. If you’re interested in a preview, check ‘em out at

See the full schedule here: Springboro Bicentennial Events


Craft and food vendors will be on site all weekend, along with living history demonstrations by Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Frederick Douglass, General Grant, General Lee, General Custer and 19th Century children’s games.

If you’re worried about the kids, this event includes an inflatable Kids Zone, Honey Hills Farms Petting Zoo with over 60 farm and exotic animals and pony rides.


Location: 195 Tamarack Trail, Springboro

Price: Free (See website for activities with a cost)

More info: |Facebook

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Scenes from Dayton's annual art, music, film festival

Published: Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 6:47 AM
Updated: Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 6:47 AM

The 12th year of the annual festival saw the Dayton Music, Film and Art Festival broaden its horizons to include comedy from the Black Box Improv Theatre. More than 20 bands performed on three different stages (K12 Gallery, Gilly’s and Blind Bob’s), with artists and photographers from all over the region displaying their work. Dayton-born comedic writers Stephen and Joel Levinson also screened the classic Zucker brothers film, Top Secret!.


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