Dining With Denise Neil

Guten bier, guten times await Wichita as Oktoberfest season begins

Enough of summer already.

It’s time to crack a beer, break out the accordion, slip into some lederhosen and polka into autumn.

Over the next several weekends, Wichita will be home to a whole lot of Oktoberfest parties. Some are longtime traditions. Some are brand new events. All are designed to welcome fall in a festive manner.

Here’s a list of Oktoberfest parties planned for Wichita during the coming weeks.

Big Oktoberfest parties

Oktoberfest at Prost, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday Sept. 26-28 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, Revolutsia, 2721 E. Central: This four-day party is a first time event for Wichita’s German restaurant Prost, which opened late last year. The party will take over the courtyard at Revolutsia, the shipping container mall where Prost operates, and will fill it with polka music, Oktoberfest beers, stein hoisting, sauerkraut eating contests and more. The owners plan to decorate the whole complex to transform it into an authentic-looking biergarten. Admission is free, but food and drink are for sale.

Oktoberfest at Blessed Sacrament Church, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 124 N. Roosevelt: This is the 15th year for this church’s big Oktoberfest party, and it includes authentic German food for sale, including brats, fresh bierocks, homemade potato salad and fried sauerkraut balls. Beer also will be for sale, and the church is prepared with 40 kegs. Live music will start at noon, and five bands will play throughout the day, culminating with Sunshine the Bunny at 5:30 p.m. and Sleepy Truckers at 8 p.m. There will also be an inflatables park set up from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for kids, and wristbands will be $12 at the door. Admission is free until 6:30 p.m., and then it’s $5. Non church members are welcome.

ICT Bloktoberfest, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5: This is the fourth year for this family-friendly community party, which lasts two days and takes over the Wichita WaterWalk, filling it with fall-friendly activities like wiener dog races, beer drinking, stein hoisting and more. Organizers XClusive Event Services have planned a few additions this year. For one, they’ve rented a massive tent that will protect attendees from potential rain, which has fallen on the festival the past couple of years. They also have added a pumpkin smashing contest, courtesy of Wichita Brewing Company, and a big kickball tournament. As always, the event starts with a Friday-night beer tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 4. Tickets to that are $40 at eventbrite.com.

Bar Oktoberfest Parties

River City Brewing Company’s Loftoberfest, 150 N. Mosley, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday: The annual party is thrown on the upper level of this Old Town brewery and will include two German-style beers tapped for the event and served in half-liter steins for $12. Refills will be $3. The brewery also will be serving turkey legs, sausage boards and Bavarian-style pretzels.

Public at the Brickyard’s Oktoberfest in the Courtyard, 129 N. Rock Island, noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 28: The big outdoor courtyard will be home to this bar’s fourth annual Oktoberfest party, which will feature German-inspired food, live music from Keen Cutter and a half-liter Public beer steins full of German-style drafts. Steins and tickets are $25 but admission to the party is free.

Oktoberfest at Mort’s, 923 E. First St., noon Sunday Oct. 6: This Old Town bar will be grilling brats and serving Oktoberfest beers in bottles, cans and on tap. The party also will include a costume contest. Admission is free.

Oktoberfest at Whiskey Dicks, 801 S. Seneca, 7- 11 p.m. Oct. 10 and Oct. 24: This little bar at Seneca and Kellogg puts on a big Oktoberfest party every year, which promises “guten friends, guten music, guten food, guten bier and guten times.” The event features a live polka band, authentic German food and German beer served in 35-ounce steins. The staff will all be in German-inspired costumes, and many attendees show up in them, too. Admission is free but patrons must be 21 or older.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.