It's that time of the year when Oktoberfest events start to pop up around town, and this week's event roundup includes two multi-day festivals. Also on the list: The return of Grapevine's Grapefest, along with an anniversary for a Dallas Tex-Mex chain. Plan ahead for National Punch Day next Monday, because there's an event for that, too.
Wednesday, September 15
El Fenix 103rd Anniversary
The Dallas-based Tex-Mex institution will celebrate its 103rd birthday at all 15 DFW locations with some giveaways. The first 103 customers at each outlet will receive a complimentary cup of queso with an entrée purchase and be entered to win free El Fenix for a year. At the downtown Dallas location, guests can enjoy live mariachi music and dancers, margarita and ranch water samplings, and special guest appearances by members of the Martinez family, who founded the Tex-Mex institution more than a century ago.
Thursday, September 16
35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience
The largest wine festival in the Southwest is back, this year featuring non-stop live music on four different stages for four days. Headliners include 80s musical titans Berlin and Asia, along with AshenMoon featuring Garry Beers of INXS and Stray Cats’ Slim Jim Phantom. As for the wine, Texas wineries will be well-represented along with this year’s featured guest wineries: Napa Valley and South Australia’s Barossa Valley. Admission is free on Thursday. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (62-plus) and children 6-12.
Raise a stein and make room for German sausage, sauerkraut, strudel, giant pretzels, and more at this four-day festival celebrating the traditions of Oktoberfest. There’ll be Bavarian folk dances, carnival rides and midway games, and a special Oktoberfest Paulaner Bier. Admission is free Thursday and Sunday, and $10 Friday and Saturday. For a longer list of Oktoberfests this fall, head over to this story.
Beer vs. Wine Dinner at Vector Brewing
Lake Highlands brewery hosts a four-course dinner accompanied by both a pour of Vector beer and a fine wine from David Mayfield. Courses include roasted bone marrow, cauliflower steak, New Zealand Cervena elk, and white sponge cake with white chocolate and Italian meringue. Speakers include co-owner Craig Bradley, brewer Tommy Gutierrez, sommelier Kelsey Keener, chef Brittany Bryant, and bartender Jorshy French. A reception begins at 7 pm. Tickets are $120, and seating is limited to 30 tickets.
Saturday, September 18
Dallas Farmers Market Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins have arrived from Floydada, Texas, featuring more than 25 pumpkin varieties. The patch is open every day inside The Shed, from September 18-October 31, Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm.
10th Annual FOE BBQ Cookoff
Amateur barbecue event takes place at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the nonprofit organization and East Dallas' favorite poolside hang. There's BBQ, drink specials, axe throwing, and more. This is a charity event with proceeds benefitting the Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. This year it's presented by Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Tickets are $15, and get you in for BBQ samples from 20 different BBQ teams competing to win your vote for "People's Choice". The awards ceremony is at 5 pm. Parking is limited; ride-sharing, Lyft, or Uber are strongly recommended.
Cotton Candy Release & Concert at Texas Ale Project
Coinciding with the upcoming start of the State Fair of Texas, the Dallas brewery will release its Cotton Candy Pilsner with a party. Visit from 4–10 pm for pints of the sweet and creamy brew, along with live music and grub from Dallas Grilled Cheese food truck. Admission is free before 6:30 pm, and $5 thereafter.
Truck Yard Trucktoberfest
At this inaugural event at both Truck Yard Dallas and Truck Yard Colony, guests can don their lederhosen (if desired) and participate in a lively line-up of Oktoberfest-themed activities, from stein-holding contests to yodeling competitions. There’ll also be a tapping of a 200 year-old keg of Trucktoberfest brew. The event will run Saturday and Sunday starting at 4 pm at both locations and admission is free.
Monday, September 20
National Punch Day at Punch Bowl Social
It’s National Punch Day and it only makes sense that Punch Bowl Social is here for it. All day long, guests can partake in a $10 punch flight. The trio of punches include Watermelon Polo Punch, with reposado tequila and watermelon spearmint tea; Featured Punch, made with Cruzan rum, coconut rum, pomegranate green tea and orange syru; and I’m on a Whiskey Diet with bourbon, pear chamomile tea, blueberry syrup, honey and lemon juice. The Deep Ellum restaurant and entertainment venue is open from 4 pm to midnight on Monday.