Oktoberfest Basics

//Oktoberfest Basics
Oktoberfest Basics 2017-09-27T22:43:09+00:00

Oktoberfest USA makes every effort to provide an enjoyable experience for our patrons each year. Our message each year is to “have fun, stay safe, stick with your friends, as we want you back next year.” (Learn more about having a safe Oktoberfest from the La Crosse Police Department.) The information below are some Oktoberfest basics that will guide you towards an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a first time “fest-goer” or veteran “fester” you’ll find this information handy.


For 2017, Oktoberfest USA will offer two admission options, the traditional button or single-day tickets.

The 2017 Oktoberfest Button:

  • Advance price – $10; starting Sept. 28 – $15
  • Button is good for admission all four days of Oktoberfest 2017 and for ticketed events as noted

Single day admission tickets for Southside Grounds: (available day-of at Fest office only)

  • Thursday, Sept. 28 – $10 (starting at 4pm)
  • Friday, Sept. 29 – $10 (all day)
  • Saturday, Sept. 30 – $10 (all day)
  • Sunday, Oct. 2 – $5 (all day)

No button or admission ticket required for the Northside Grounds for Oktoberfest 2017

Other Admission Notes:

  • Children 12 and Under Admitted Free.
  • All Southside Ground patrons will have ID’s checked. Those 21 and over will be wrist-banded. Some portions of the Southside Grounds are restricted to 21 and over.
  • For certain events, portions or all of the Oktoberfest Shelter on the Northside may be 21 and over only. IDs will be checked. Balance of Northside Grounds (food vendors and carnival area) is open to all ages.

Ticketed Events

A number of Oktoberfest events require tickets in addition to the admission button. See the list of events under the Activities header in the main menu for information if tickets are needed. Tickets for most events are available from the Oktoberfest Online Store or at the Oktoberfest office.


Oktoberfest operates from two locations. The Southside Grounds are located at 2nd and La Crosse Streets and the Northside Grounds are at the intersection of Rose and Clinton Streets (in Copeland Park). The Southside Grounds includes two music venues (one indoor, one outdoor) and a beer garden/food court area. The Northside Grounds includes one music/entertainment venue, food vendors and a carnival.

Customer Services

The chalet at the entrance to the Southside Grounds serves as the office for Oktoberfest. Windows on the east and west side of the building serve as ticket counters and customer service windows. Select Oktoberfest merchandise (steins, crocks, buttons, pins, etc. from past years) are available from the windows. Lost-and-found items should be brought (or sought) at the office.


Both grounds are open to all ages but sections of both grounds are limited to patrons 21 and over only. The Northside grounds is more family-oriented with the carnival (rides, games, etc.).

Beer/Beverage Sales

  • Beer is sold in 21-and-over areas on both grounds. A selection of craft beers on tap are also available on the Southside grounds. For 2017 the Northside Grounds will again feature locally-brewed beers.
  • All beer is sold via a ticket system. Bar staff do not accept cash (but they love tips).
  • Beer tickets are $3.50 each and are available for cash sale on the Northside and via cash or credit card sale on the Southside.
  • Soft drinks are available for cash purchase from the “Brat Stand” on both grounds.
  • A designated driver booth also offers free soft drinks for those who register for that program (see next item)
  • ID’s are checked and of-age patrons are wrist-banded to identify as such. Oktoberfest adheres to all responsible serving regulations and protocols. Professional security is employed to assist with enforcement.

Designated Driver Booths

“Have fun. Be safe. Stick with your friends/family. We want you back next year.” — that is our mantra. To help with that we offer Designated Driver programs at both grounds. Register as a designated driver and you are eligible for free Pepsi products. Our thanks to our designated driver booth sponsors, Pepsi and the La Crosse Media Group.


Both grounds feature numerous food vendors with various carnival/festival type foods. (list to come)

Oktoberfest Family

Each year Oktoberfest names a Royal Family. So after 57 years we now have a large group. Add in the Grenadier Corps and the Board of Directors and you have a large number of people you can go to with questions (or pictures or autographs or their own buttons). Look for the lederhosen and dirndls. Other patrons may dress in authentic garb as well so if you approach someone in German-style wear, please ask first if they are part of the Oktoberfest organization.