Now is your chance to enjoy all that Germanfest has to offer. From eating, drinking, and having a really good time, discover these tips to making the most of Germanfest in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Germanfest features 5 days of festivities from Wednesday to Sunday (primarily at Headwaters Park East), including:

  • Ceremonial keg tapping
  • Polka dancing
  • Live German music
  • Wienerdog Nationals races
  • Delicious German food and beer

Saturday always offers additional fun with FamilienFest in Headwaters Park West— with family and pet-oriented entertainment and activities! The Wienerdog Nationals dachshund races are the day's highlight, attracting fans from around the region to see this adorable competition. Other programming and games that day are free for families to enjoy until 6pm.

While most of the festival takes place at Headwaters Park, check the event schedule to find other off-site events around Fort Wayne.

For first-time attendees, I hope to make your visit as fun and informative as possible. Let's dive into some tips for enjoying the festival!

people eating at long community tables under a large pavilion at germanfest

Germanfest in Fort Wayne, Indiana

1. Save your pitchers!

For returning attendees remember to dust off your past years' Germanfest Pitcher and take it with you again this year! By doing so, you'll get an automatic savings for your beer budget!

For those of you who have never been to the festival or misplaced your pitcher, be prepared to pay for the plastic pitcher itself on top of the beer price for your first order. 

However, once you have your pitcher, you can simply return to the line for $3.00 OFF pitcher refills for the rest of the day. (And then be sure to save your pitchers for the upcoming years!)

2. Go before 5PM

Wednesday – Saturday, admission to the festival pavilion at Headwaters Park East is:

  • 11am - 2pm: Free
  • 2pm - 5pm: $2
  • 5pm - close: $5
  • FREE for children 12 & under. 

All admission is FREE on Sunday. (Admission to FamilienFest on Saturday is FREE for the whole family.)

If you plan to go to Germanfest at night, consider arriving before 5pm to save $3.00 on admission — and put it toward the good stuff like beer and food.

And, since you plan on eating at the festival anyway (how can you resist bratwursts, homemade sauerkraut, German potato salad, and German cake?) going before 5pm is a great idea.

3. Remember your ID

If you plan to purchase beer at any time, or plan to arrive after 9pm — you must have your ID with you. After 9pm, the festival is 21+ only (sorry!), and trust me there will be officers at the front gate to check IDs. So do not forget that ID!


4. It's all about the tickets

This festival works on tickets, so if it is your first GermanFest, here's the scoop. Food, drinks, and beer can ONLY be purchased with tickets. $1 = 1 Ticket!

After entering the gates, look to your right to find a small trailer set up to the side. This is where you will purchase your tickets. Beer and food prices will be listed, so take a minute to decide what you want and how many tickets to buy. 

You can come back to the ticket trailer any time throughout the night for additional tickets, so don't worry about buying tons of tickets when you arrive.

5. Expect crowds

Lots of people will be milling around, so it's easy to feel overwhelmed at first. But just remember to get a few tickets before anything else! Next, proceed to the beer or food line, and then find a seat at one of the long community tables (in true German beer hall fashion) or in the bier garden. Don't be scared to share a table with a few other people — they may have great stories to tell!


Finally, if you're sitting enjoying the atmosphere of the night and hear someone suddenly yell “Prost!,” do not be alarmed. It simply means "a wish for good health on all those who are near," especially before drinking.

Hopefully, with these tips, you will feel like a pro at GermanFest, and be sure to have a great time! And don't be afraid to jump in and join the Polka dancing.

See you there!

Click for Parking Information

*Let me know how your Germanfest experience was and if you have any other tips to share!

This post was originally published in June 2011 and has been updated. Last updated: June 2024