Grab your lederhosen or dirndl, pawty puppers! It’s time to clink ’em and drink ’em at the annual ode to the beginning of fall that is Oktoberfest. With loads of different dog-friendly events happening every September weekend in cities across Colorado, you won’t have to go far to find beers and brats, dachshund races, costume contests, and much more. Your only problem will be convincing everybody that “in dog beers, you’ve only had one.” Prost!
Vail Oktoberfest September 6–8, 13–15 With plenty of European-influenced architecture and a picturesque mountain backdrop, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Munich during Vail Oktoberfest. Taking place over two weekends in two different Vail locations—the first in Lionshead, the second in Vail Village—you have ample pupportunity to celebrate all things suds and schnitzel, including cat keg bowling, a leg-lifting stein-lifting competition, and a bratwurst-eating contest (we won’t tell anyone if you slip your doggo a few links under the table).
Parker Oktoberfest September 13–15 The wiener dog race is a pupular attraction at this annual event (and benefits a local rescue group to boot!), but Parker Oktoberfest doesn’t discriminate—all breeds are welcome to snoof their way through O’Brien Park, which will be transformed into the biergarten of your dreams. In addition to live music and vendors, you frens won’t wanna miss the grape stomp, cornhole tournament, and Grimm Brothers fairy-tale performances.
Pawtoberfest September 14 The name says it all—this is an Oktoberfest event that caters exclusively to woofers and the humans who love ’em. Hosted annually by the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, this dog-friendly festival takes over Colorado Spring’s 25-acre Bear Creek Dog Park for a day of craft brews, a two-mile dog walk, agility demonstrations, and some pawlarious events including a kissing contest (the Pooch Smooch) and a pet/owner look-a-like competition. We can’t make this fluff up.
Oktoberfest Boulder September 20–22 If you’re wondering what the h-e-double bully sticks a “human glockenspiel” is, you’ll have to report to Boulder’s annual Oktoberfest celebraish (hint: it’s like that old clock your grandparents have, where wooden figures come out and dance on the hour, but brought to life with real people and choreographed moves). But if that doesn’t fluff your fur, you and your pup can also enjoy hammerschlagen, a photo booth, keg bowling, and gigantic Bavarian pretzels.
Denver Oktoberfest September 20–22, 27–29 One weekend wasn’t enough time to cram in all the doggone fun of Denver Oktoberfest. Celebrating its 50th year, this event—featuring stein hoisting, keg bowling, and a ceremonial keg tapping, to name a few activities—annually attracts more than 250,000 people, not including the four-legged attendees who are invited to join the festivities. “We love and allow pets, but please no snakes,” say the event organizers. “Snakes are just not cool.” We’re not gonna argue with you on that one!
Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest September 21 A 5K run/walk for humans kick-starts this annual event, but we’re much more interested in the dachshund races. Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, plus one special doggo will receive the honor of “best dressed,” so break out that little lederhosen! Also on tap: German music and dancing, a stein-hoisting competition, and plenty of beer to improve (or destroy) your cornhole game.
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