PHOENIX - October in Phoenix usually means one thing -- the start of fantastic festival weather.
That means continued clear and sunny skies. Average temperatures (finally) dipping below 100 degrees. And, of course, Oktoberfest parties with German beer, fancy overalls (also known as Lederhosen) and stein-holding competitions.
Here is a sampling of all the Oktoberfest festivals and events happening around the Valley.
The annual Oktoberfest party in Fountain Hills will take place at Fountain Park, 12925 N Saguaro Blvd., on September 28 & 29 from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. There will be music from a German band, a stein-holding competition, a best-dressed competition, and an Alphorn blowing competition. Vendors will have brats, schnitzel, Apple strudel, potato cakes and pretzels for sale. For the little ones, there will be a free bounce house and rock wall.
Admission is $5 per person. Those who show up in Lederhosen or Dirndl get in free. More information.
SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest (Sept. 29)
The 11th annual SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest will take place Sept. 29 at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park in downtown Chandler, 178 E Commonwealth Ave. The event runs from 3 p.m. - 11 p.m. Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers will headline the nightly concert. Black Moods and 2Tone Lizard Kings will also perform. There will be Polka music, brat-eating competitions, a stein-holding competition, tricycle races and wiener dog races.
General admission is $10-$15. Food and drink are extra. VIP tickets are $125 and include six alcoholic drinks, private bathrooms, catered food, and unlimited soft drinks and water. More information.
Old World Oktoberfest in Peoria (Oct. 5-6)
Peoria's Old World Oktoberfest festival is Oct. 5 & 6 at Centennial Plaza, 9875 N. 85th Ave. It will run from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. both days. Activities include music from Die Echten Waldbuam band, a nightly keg-tapping ceremony, best-dressed and stein-holding competitions, and authentic German food.
Admission is free for those 20 years old and younger, and $5 for those 21+. Parking is also free. More information.
Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest (Oct. 6)
The inaugural Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest is Oct. 6 at CityScape, 1 East Washington Street. The event will have Polka music, a dance floor, and a variety of competitions, including stein-holding, brat-eating, pretzel-eating, and a beer maid costume contest. There will also be German-style fare for sale: brats, pretzels, and beer.
General admission is $10-$15 per person. Food and drink are extra. More information.
Oktoberfest at The Wigwam (Oct. 6)
The Wigwam will kick-off its fall season with an Oktoberfest festival. The event will take place from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. on the Great Lawn, 300 E Wigwam Blvd, in Litchfield Park. The Phoenix Polka Band will perform. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes, German-inspired fare, and a yodeling contest.
The annual three-day festival takes place at Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park, Oct. 12-14. There will be nightly concerts on three stages, carnival rides and fair food, Four Peaks beer and German beer, and German-inspired food: brats, sauerkraut and apple sausage.
Admission is free. Food, drinks, and carnival games are extra. Carnival passes are $30. More information.
Buckeye Oktoberfest (Oct. 13)
Buckeye's Oktoberfest celebration takes place Oct. 13 in the 6th Street Plaza, 517 E. Monroe Avenue. The day-time event runs 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. There will be food vendors and a kids area. It is part of a weekend of activities, including a car show, tractor show, craft street fair, and a gem and mineral show.
Admission to the gem and mineral show is $3 for adults, free for kids. More information.