The German American Central Society and the Peoria Park District are sponsoring their 21st Annual Peoria Oktoberfest on Sept. 16, 17, and 18, to promote German culture and heritage of Central Illinois.  

The event will be held at the Peoria Riverfront Festival Park, 200 N.E. Water St.

Times:   Friday, Sept. 19 - 5 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday Sept. 20 - noon to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21, – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Admission: Friday $10; Saturday $7 until 5 p.m., 10 after 5 p.m., Sunday $7. Children 12 and under always free.

The fifth Annual “Das Bier Run” 5K Run und Walk, in conjunction with the Oktoberfest in Peoria Riverfront Park to be held Sunday, Sept. 18. The run begins at 12:30 p.m. and starts South of the Gateway building on the Peoria Riverfront.  Top runners in each category will receive either a trophy or medal. A costume contest is part of this year’s race.

The race is being sponsored by the Peoria Jaycees, the Peoria German-American Society, and the Peoria Park District. Races have been part of Oktoberfests since they were started in the early 1800’s. At that time though it was horse racing and not foot races. 

Registration fee is $35. Register at Part of the proceeds from the race will benefit of the Paws Giving Independence (PGI). 

On Sunday morning there will be a Catholic Mass starting at 10:30 a.m. All attendees who bring a can good to the Mass will get into the Oktoberfest free of charge. Canned food is only good for admittance to the festival until 11 a.m. At 11 a.m., regular admission prices resume.

Entertainment: Alpen Echoes from Cincinnati, Ohio; de Spitzbuam, from St. Louis;  the Bolzen Beer Band, from Lincoln, Nebraska; Jay Fox Band from Ft. Wayne, IN; and the  Heidelberg German Band from Quincy. Local bands include:  The Ratskellar Brummers, Al’s Pals, the Lindenhof Echos (Alpine Horns), Terry Bredenberg, and Vogel Musik. 

Additional Activities: A German Heritage Tent display with a genealogy search will be available.  Also, a Puppet Theatre, the Peoria Volkstaenzers, Log Sawing, and various contests such as the Masskrugstemmen(arm strength contest with filled steins) will be featured.  Vendors with authentic German clothing and merchandise as well as other items will be available for purchase.  Children’s activities are also scheduled.  A select number of area artisans will also be hand to demonstrate their skills. Several carnival rides will be available, including a merry-go-round.

Both German and American foods will be available. Complete German dinners will be available in the main tent. German beers will be featured including Spaten Oktoberfest, along with German Wines from our Weinstube. Domestic beers also.