After a year off, NewBo Oktoberfest returns to downtown Cedar Rapids

NewBo Oktoberfest

NewBo City Market, Wednesday, Sept. 29-Sunday, Oct. 3, costs vary

NewBo Oktoberfest returns on Oct. 2. Stein holding competitions are an important part of this traditional German celebration! — Collage by Jordan Sellergren, photos by Alexandra Olsen/NewBo City Market and Zak Neumann/Little Village.

NewBo Oktoberfest is returning to NewBo City Market a year after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the 2020 event. This year’s celebration will be spread out over the course of four days, from Wednesday, Sept. 29 to Saturday, Oct. 2.

There will be a mix of ticketed and free events, including a dinner featuring a wide variety of German-themed food, such as beer brats, beer cheese potato soup and German chocolate cake. Iowa Brewing Company is the presenting sponsor.

The food for the Wednesday dinner will be provided by vendors from NewBo City Marketplace, and the businesses in the Marketplace will also be open during the events.

“As a non-profit, our mission is to be a small business incubator, so this is kind of a fun way to incorporate Oktoberfest into our own shopkeepers, and people get to try the different styles of food the shopkeepers can make,” said Dan Stolley, Newbo City Market Director of Programming and Events. “The whole point of it is to bring customers down to the market for the vendors there.”

Saturday, Oct. 2 will be a free family-friendly day with traditional German Oktoberfest games, live music performed by Czech Plus — “the only band in the United States to be able to perform the national anthems of the United States, the Czech Republic and Slovakia” — and beer. NewBo Beer and Wine will be serving Iowa Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest beer, Iowa Fest, which is brewed with Munich malt and German noble hops.

Of course, COVID is still spreading, so the event has been scheduled over multiple days to reduce the crowds for any one day. In addition, Stolley said that NewBo City Marketplace is “strongly encouraging masks and social distancing when possible,” including separating the tables for Wednesday’s dinner event to maintain social distancing.


Wednesday, Sept 29, 6 p.m.: German-style dinner with traditional and new-age German-inspired dishes. Tickets are $30-180.

Thursday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m.: Beer Trivia Night. Free event.

Friday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m.: Beer tasting class with beer samples and a complimentary beverage. Tickets are $20.

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2 p.m.: Family fun day. Live music, giant yard games, beer. Free event.

Sunday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.: Sip & Stretch yoga with one free drink at NewBo Beer and Wine. Tickets are $10.


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