The fun and beer (and root beer) are flowing at Oktoberfest Monroe

MONROE — The beer is flowing here. But this weekend’s Oktoberfest Monroe is about more than just beer.

The second annual event is bringing a little Munich to Monroe with German-inspired music, dancing, games, food and activities.

“It’s a Bavarian celebration of the harvest,” Monroe Chamber of Commerce Director Una Wirkebau-Hartt said. “This is a wonderful way to open your eyes to a culture.”

The festival kicked off Friday with the tapping of a large wooden keg. It is set to continue at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds through Sunday.

The Festhalle Biergarten is pouring five varieties of beer, including Bayreuther Hell, Maisel’s Weisse, Veltins Pilsner, Grevensteiner and Bayern Oktoberfest. Organizers expect to go through about 150 kegs this weekend.

In addition to beer, Oktoberfest Monroe features continuous live music. There are traditional foods, such as schnitzel, bratwurst, Bavarian pretzels and fresh apple strudel. Activities for children include face painting, scavenger hunting and pumpkin decorating.

“This event was just honored as being one of the top 10 family friendly Oktoberfests in the country,” Wirkebau-Hartt said.

Norma Grefsrud, 88, and her friend, Bernice McDonnell, 85, both of Bothell, were waltzing en route to the various games and vendors on Friday afternoon.

“We’re having a ball,” Grefsrud said. “It’s been very interesting because I’m not German. I’m Norwegian.”

Grefsrud said she threw for the cornhole toss and played Hammerschlagen for the first time at Oktoberfest.

Hammerschlagen is game in which players challenge opponents to see who can drive a nail into a stump using the narrow end of a hammer with the fewest swings.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Jeff Holden, who runs the game. “I’ve been told it gets easier as the beer goes down.”

The event boasts a Hammerschlagen tournament. The top player wins $150 and a Seahawks Super Bowl stein. The festival features smaller versions of the traditional games for children.

Anne Bouckenooghe, of Monroe, said her children, Gillead, 6, Elan, 4, and Eliana, 2, did the cornhole toss and gave Hammerschlagen a shot.

“They tried and failed,” she said, carrying her 5-month-old daughter, Asher. “Usually they have no problem banging stuff around.”

“I love hammering,” Gillead added. “And I love root beer.”

The event has a root beer garden for children and those who want non-alcoholic drinks. On Friday, Jody May, of Woodinville, was in a dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress, and serving root beer on tap and making floats. She also sells non-alcoholic beer and runs the event’s designated driver program. Sober drivers can sign in to receive free soda, coffee and water.

“We want to encourage people to be responsible,” May said.

Oktoberfest Monroe is open daily to all ages until 7 p.m., after which only those 21 and older are allowed.

Tickets are $10 for adults. Children 12 and younger get in free. Admission is half-price on Sunday.

For more information, go to

The 5K Stein Dash is set for 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. People are encouraged to race in costume. Runners receive a stein to carry during the run and to fill with their drink of choice afterwards.

The race loop starts at the festival entrance. Registration is $35 and includes Oktoberfest admission after the race. People can register at

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @AmyNileReports.

More in Local News

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Most Read