North of downtown Seattle, Fremont bustles at most any time of year; after all, the neighborhood deems itself the "Center of the Universe." Yet on certain weekends, the scene in this quirky neighborhood gets even more animated, and the crowds descend (Spring Solstice, anyone?). This happens again come fall, when nearly half of the quirky 'hood gets inundated for the annual Fremont Oktoberfest extravaganza.
According to its website, Fremont Oktoberfest has been hailed as one of the top 10 places in the world to celebrate Oktoberfest. So if Munich isn't in the cards this year, it sounds like we can offer you the next best thing. The event runs Oct. 19 through Oct. 21 this year. Aren't you curious to come test it out for yourself?
Revelry takes over the streets of Fremont come mid-October — Photo courtesy of Alabastro Photography
Featuring the biggest beer garden in the Northwest, the three-day regional festival also offers more than 100 bold microbrews and craft beers, plus live Seattle bands, the Buxom Royalty Contest, the Oktoberfest Village (which includes fun for all ages) and, if you're feeling motivated, the Fremont Oktoberfest 5K, AKA "the Ultimate Beer Run."
The event takes place rain or shine and includes covered areas like the Tap House Grill Buxom Beer Garden, the indoor Sports Bar (inside Fremont Studios) and various other lounge spaces scattered throughout the event. The Tasting Garden is open all three days for those 21 and over (with ticket options starting at $20), and The Village, open Saturday and Sunday, welcomes all ages. It's free.
The Tasting Garden features over 100 bold beers (to sample with a five-ounce mini-mug) and the famed Buxom Beer Garden has brews, too (with half-liter steins, full-liter steins and full-liter boots). Stop by the Fremont Oktoberfest Sports Bar for drinks and tasty food options or to hear rockin' live music on the Main Stage. (Stay tuned for the announcement of bands.)
Enjoy fare from local vendors like Grilled Cheese Experience, Ziegler's, Cousins Gourmet, Ballard Brothers, Corn Roasters, Crepealicious, Uncle Bud's Deep Fried Peanuts, Pel'Meni and Fremont's own Dumpling Czar.
The (free) Fremont Abbey Arts Center Kids' Area activities include The Zucchini 500 (where little ones can decorate and race their zucchinis) and stations for pumpkin carving and "Paint the Brain." The Alpine Slide welcomes all ages and stays open late all weekend for the grownups.
If you want to get active in the midst of all that beer-drinking, join the 5K run Sunday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m., which pushes off from the Solstice Plaza at N. 34th St. and Fremont Ave., or the Street Scramble, which takes off the same day and from the same place (at 10:30 a.m.). This Fremont scavenger hunt helps participants discover "the mysteries of the 'Center of the Universe,'" with a map that includes 30 checkpoints (beer-themed!) that must be visited within 90 minutes. Prost (German for "Cheers!"), everyone!
Beer proves the drink of choice at Fremont's Oktoberfest — Photo courtesy of Alabastro Photography