where DC meets for oktoberfest


Thanks for attending our 2023 Oktoberfest hosted by Sam Adams.

Oktoberfest at The Wharf will return on Saturday, October 5, 2024.

Learn to polka dance, cheer on the dogs competing in the Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash and try your hand at stein hoisting.

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2023 Event Schedule

It’s that time of year—put on your dirndl or lederhosen, grab your Dachshund, and head to The Wharf for our free Oktoberfest festivities. 


Friday, September 15, 7-9pm: Polka on the Pier

Kick off Oktoberfest weekend at The Wharf with a free polka dance class on Transit Pier. Learn the traditional German dance from the professionals and then show off your moves, all backed by tunes from authentic Polka band, Polka Partei!

Saturday, September 16, 2-5pm: Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash

Cheer on the dogs competing in the 11th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash to benefit Rural Dog Rescue. Registration to race is now closed. 

POSTPONED to Saturday, September 23, 2-5pm: Stein Hoisting Competition

Try your hand in The Wharf-wide stein hoisting contest taking place in restaurants throughout The Wharf. Throughout the weekend, enjoy German fare, Bavarian decor and costumes, and Sam Adam Octoberfest beer. Participating Wharf restaurants include Boardwalk Bar & ArcadeBrighton SW1Canopy CentralCantina BambinaEasy CompanyH-Bar at Hyatt HouseKaliwaKirwans On The WharfLucky Buns, Whiskey Charlie and Rappahannock Oyster Bar.

Oktoberfest at The Wharf is

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2023 Frequently Asked Questions

Do spectators need to register or get a ticket?
The Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash is FREE for spectators; no tickets are needed. Gather around the race track or watch the excitement on the big screen. Drinks are available for purchase at the designated event bar. Additionally, food and drinks are also available for purchase at all Wharf bars and restaurants. You must be 21+ to consume alcohol.

How can my Dachshund participate in the races?
Dachshunds who wish to participate in the races must register and pay the race entry fee on Eventbrite prior to the event. All race entry fees are donated to Rural Dog Rescue

What type of dogs are allowed to race?
Only Dachshunds may participate in the races, but all dogs can take part in the excitement of the day during the free all-breed dog costume contest! If you don’t have a dog yet, keep an eye out for your forever friend during the Adoptable Dog Parade that takes place between the Dachshund races.

How do I participate in the all-breed dog costume contest?
The all-breed dog costume contest takes place around 3:30pm on the main racetrack. There is no need to sign up in advance, just bring your costumed dog (on a leash, please) to the racetrack when the emcee announces it's time for the costume contest.

Is this event pet-friendly?
Pets are allowed in outdoor spaces throughout The Wharf. The Wharf will provide water for pets to drink and small pools for pets to splash in. However, we do expect large crowds during the event, and outdoor areas may be hot or cold, so please plan ahead for your pet's comfort and safety. Please plan to keep your pet leashed throughout the event (except the Dachshunds, when they're racing). The recommended pet relief area is Benjamin Banneker Park near 9th and Maine Ave SW.

Will there be fireworks?
Oktoberfest at The Wharf does not feature fireworks. View The Wharf Events Calendar to see which upcoming Wharf events feature fireworks.

What is the best way to get to The Wharf?
Plan for lots of vehicular traffic and limited parking at The Wharf. Instead of driving, ride the Metro to Waterfront Station and walk one block to The Wharf, or ride Metro to L’Enfant Plaza and connect to The Wharf on the free Southwest Shuttle. Or consider taking Bikeshare or riding with Alto—a new rideshare service. 

If you can’t avoid driving, plan to utilize one of the nearby off-site parking garages (view PDF map), including Ace Parking at L’Enfant Plaza (420 10th St SW), L'Enfant East Parking Garage (840 D St SW), or the 1100 4th St SW Garage.

What happens if it rains?
A few sprinkles can’t keep us down. Unless the weather poses a hazard, the event will happen rain or shine.

Where are the public bathrooms at The Wharf?
Public restrooms are located throughout The Wharf at the Fish Market, Transit Pier, 800 Water Street, and in the Oculus. View the public restrooms on the Event Map.

Can I bring chairs and coolers?
Chairs and coolers are not permitted at The Wharf at any time. Learn more about The Wharf’s Code of Conduct.

Can I drink alcohol outdoors?
In the District of Columbia, it is against the law to consume alcohol in public, including in the streets, parks, and piers at The Wharf. At The Wharf, you may only consume alcohol inside restaurants, within restaurants' licensed patio areas, or within the licensed event footprint on District Pier. No outside alcohol is permitted.

Get Social with @TheWharfDC

Share your pictures and videos with The Wharf on social media (IG, TW, FB, TikTok) by tagging @TheWharfDC and using #TheWharfDC.

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Stay at The Wharf

Turn your visit into a vacation! The Wharf has four pet-friendly hotels at a range of price points. Book a room so you can party with your pup all night long.

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Directions to The Wharf

Centrally located, The Wharf is the District’s waterfront destination that is easy to get to—and to get around.

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Metro lines
Free rides on
SW Shuttle
Easy access to
Trains, Buses & DC Circulator
Capital Bikeshare stations
Bike parking spaces
Direct access to DC's extensive
Bicycle Network
1 mile of
Riverwalk Trail System of
20 mi
Minutes from the
National Mall
Parking updates in
real time
Adjacent to
Direct access to the
Southwest Freeway
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Where DC Celebrates

Learn more about The Wharf's year-round schedule of events and happenings.

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