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Time to Welcome Fall: OakToberfest in Oak Park

The 20th annual event features music, local food, children's activities and a variety of beers.

Beer, music and lovely weather – what could be better?

Oak Parkers can celebrate the arrival of fall downtown this weekend with the village’s own version of the classic German festival, wittily named OakToberfest.

Organizers are expecting an exceptionally good turnout this year – probably between 6,000 and 8,000 – since nice weather is forecast, with temperatures in the 60s and a small chance of rain on Friday.

The festival opens Friday at 4 p.m. and lasts through 10 p.m. before continuing from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free, and a ticket for beer or wine is $7. Purchasing three tickets for beer gets you a souvenir mug.

Tips will be accepted for those pouring the suds. They're volunteers from the West Suburban Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS).

Shannon Williams, director of marketing and communications for , said this year there are 10 food vendors (11 if you count the Chamber of Commerce selling corn-on-the-cob), numerous activities in the Children’s Root Beer Garden, and between 10 and 15 different varieties of beer to choose.

The children’s area will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and features root beer garden, kid-specific karaoke, arts and crafts, a prize wheel, dance performances, and zucchini races for $3.

“I think we keep making it better every year,” she said. “We try to keep our music fresh and new and exciting and get bands that people have been following. We spend a good portion of the budget on the music.”

Over the last 20 years, the event’s reputation has grown, she said. People talked it up, word traveled and it’s now one of the places that music and beer lovers make sure to put on their fall to-do lists.

“We’ve tried to bring it up a notch,” she said. “Everything from the beer we choose to serve, to the kids area … we just try to refine it.”

Food vendors

  • The Golden Lamb
  • Puree’s Pizza
  • (also serving wine)

For the menu for each restaurant, click here.

Beer brands

  • Blue Moon
  • Southern Tier Brewing Company
  • Samuel Adams
  • Magic Hat Brewing Company
  • Leinenkugel’s
  • New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Chicago Beer Company
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Argus Brewery
  • Crispin (Hard Cider)
  • Abita Brewing Company

Music schedule

Friday

Saturday

  • Phil Sheaff & The Great Energy Transfer, noon to 2 p.m.
  • The Anthony Bracco Quartet, 2-4 p.m.
  • Western Philosophers, 4-6 p.m.
  • Robbie Fulks, 6-8 p.m.
  • Terrance Simien, 8-10 p.m.

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