Beer! Brats! and Bavarian Music…oh my!

Say it Rah-shay By Sep 18, 2017 No Comments

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). Held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it is a 16-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often simply called the Wiesn, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event

Can’t make it to Germany? Join me on the Mainline for the 7th Annual Ardmore Oktoberfest when it returns to Cricket Avenue on Saturday, September 23, 2017, from 2:00pm to 8:00pm.

Downtown Ardmore will be transformed into a Bavarian wonderland complete with traditional German fare, brews, music and a brand-new VIP experience. McCloskey’s Tavern, John Henry’s Pub and Jack McShea’s will serve bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels with obatzda, potato pancakes, pierogies and more. McCloskey’s Tavern will tap nine beer and cider selections featuring local and seasonal favorites. Live music will include The O’Fenders and the James D. Oompah Band. Family fun will include cookie decorating, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, and face painting. Admission to Ardmore Oktoberfest is free with food and drink pay-as-you-go. Age verification wristbands are a $1.00 donation for those 21 and up (with identification). Tickets are also available for a new Tired Hands Brewing Company VIP beer garden for only $50 each. For VIP tickets and more information, visit or call (610) 645-0540.

“Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls, and get ready to ring in Oktoberfest season on the Main Line,” said Ardmore Initiative Executive Director Christine Vilardo. “Ardmore may be thousands of miles away from the epicenter of celebrations in Europe but don’t be fooled. This Main Line town throws an Oktoberfest that rivals the best!”

Ardmore Oktoberfest, now in its seventh year, features a full spread of traditional German fare from local Ardmore restaurants and bars. John Henry’s Pub will be serving dishes such as Bavarian bratwurst with sauerkraut, smoked pork sandwiches, pierogies, and the ever-popular mac n’cheese with Oktoberfest beer sauce.  Jack McShea’s of Ardmore will be back with their famous Bavarian pretzels with obatzda (German cheese sauce), funnel cake, apple fritters, and potato pancakes with apple butter.  McCloskey’s Tavern will also serve a traditional Oktoberfest menu including pierogis, German potato salad, crab cake sliders, lemons with lemon sticks, and pickles on a stick!

McCloskey’s Tavern will be pouring nine beer and cider selections that include local and seasonal favorites. Selections include:

Paulaner Oktoberfest
Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest
Spaten Oktoberfest
Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin
Strongbow Golden Apple Cider
Easy Jack IPA
Tired Hands Brewing Company TBD
Yuengling Oktoberfest
Coors Light


Free live entertainment at Ardmore Oktoberfest will include returning popular favorites The O’Fenders and the James D. Oompah band. Ardmore’s youngest visitors will enjoy free pumpkin decorating, face painting and craft activities by Merion Art & Repro and Let Them Play Learning Center. Let Them Play will also offer babysitting in their facility at 24 West Lancaster Avenue for two hours of crafts, snacks, and fun for only $25 per child.  Parents can register directly for babysitting by calling 484-413-2928.  Walk-ins are also welcome and limited spots are available.

Festivities during Ardmore Oktoberfest are free and open to the public. Guests 21 years old and over will be asked to show valid identification. Age verification wristbands are a $1 donation.

New for 2017, Ardmore Oktoberfest will offer an exclusive VIP ticket for $50 that gives the ticket holder access to the Tired Hands Brewing Company VIP Beer Garden. Enjoy an exclusive tented area to enjoy food and beer not offered to the general public – with the added benefit of shorter lines and less waiting. VIP ticket comes with four beers – including a rarity from Tired Hands not available to the public – plus unlimited soft drinks and water, light German-inspired fare, and a limited edition cup. VIPs can also use their beer tickets at VIP skip lines at the main beer truck outside the special tent.

Ardmore Oktoberfest is organized by Ardmore Initiative with local Ardmore restaurants and businesses, with support from Oktoberfest’s Presenting Sponsor McCloskey’s Tavern. Tired Hands Brewing Company is the official sponsor of the first-ever VIP beer garden.

“Ardmore Oktoberfest is the perfect example of businesses working together to create a unique experience for our residents and visitors,” added Vilardo. “This is one of Ardmore’s popular events with nearly 5,000 people attending last year. I am not certain that McCloskey’s Tavern and John Henry’s Pub knew how popular this event would become when they hosted the first Ardmore Oktoberfest in 2011.”

McCloskey’s Tavern may not have predicted the event popularity, but they certainly continue to contribute to its success.  In their first year as the official named presenting sponsor, McCloskey’s Tavern has been working closely with the Ardmore Initiative to elevate the event for 2017.

For more information and VIP tickets for Ardmore Oktoberfest, please visit


Founded in 1993, the Ardmore Initiative is the business district authority for Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  It functions as a representative for business and property owners, and works to revitalize the town through façade grants, economic development, streetscape programs and special events.  Visit us at


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.

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