Port Moody Oktoberfest is an annual community event celebrating the German beer-themed holiday of Oktoberfest outside the Port Moody Public Library.
In 2018 the event took place on the weekend of October 5-7. The event did not happen in 2019, and it is unlikely to occur in 2020. 2018 might have been the event’s final year.
Oktoberfest in Port Moody
The Oktoberfest event in Port Moody was a fabulous event for folk ages 19+. It featured vendors selling German foods, live music and a giant beer garden under a massive tent. What’s more, partial proceeds from the event benefited a charitable cause.
The same as the previous year, in 2018 funds raised went to the local Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, so while you got merry with your friends you were also supporting the valuable work of a great organization.
Oktoberfest Dates & Times
Just like the original Oktoberfest festival in Munich, Germany, Port Moody’s Oktoberfest was an autumn event that started in mid to late September and finished in early October.
The local Tri-Cities’ version only ran on weekends though. 2017 dates were September 22-24, September 29-30 and October 1. In 2018 it took place over just 3 days – on the weekend of October 5th to 7th.
The event usually ran from 5:00 until 10:00 pm on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Port Moody Oktoberfest took place behind the Port Moody Public Library at 100 Newport Drive just off Ioco Road.
At the event there was a mini village with food vendors and a few family-friendly activities on what were normally the recreation centre’s tennis courts, plus the beer garden with the live entertainment under a giant tent at the back.
Port Moody itself is located about a 30-minute drive east of downtown Vancouver. The venue is also just a 45-minute SkyTrain ride from Vancouver’s Waterfront Station via the Expo and then Millennium Lines, and only about a 10-minute walk from Port Moody’s Inlet Centre Station.
Oktoberfest Admission Prices
Access to the festival venue plus the Biergarten with all its rows of tables and live music cost about $20 per person (age 19+) in its last year and included one complimentary beer. For $40 you could have purchased a Full Festival Pass which was good for all three days and included tokens for three drinks.
Private tables with seating for up to ten people could also have been reserved in the beer garden for $600, which was convenient for groups wanting to arrive later in the evening after all the regular seats got filled up. For the $600 patrons got the table plus ten complimentary beers and ten food items.
What to Expect
At Port Moody Oktoberfest you would have usually seen vendor stalls in the main festival area, the occasional man wearing lederhosen, a number of fräuleins in dirndl dresses, and hundreds of people in everyday attire drinking and celebrating like Germans!
The Festival Entrance
The main festival was in a fenced-off area behind the Port Moody Public Library. As you entered the gate, security personnel checked bags and occasionally gave people a pat down to ensure no illicit items were being brought in (this included outside alcohol).
After security (which is nice and reassuring to have), patrons paid for admission and lined up to purchase tokens to later exchange for food and drink.
The Festival Plaza
In the main festival platz there were a small number of wooden huts with vendors who sold things like souvenir clothing, corn and pretzels. There was also usually a beer kiosk that sold German beers and local BC wine, and a couple of food vendors at the far end that sold schnitzel, bratwurst and pork hocks.
The Biergarten was a giant tent-like canopy where you would have found rows of wooden tables, merry people drinking beers and live entertainment on the Oktoberfest stage. As the place became busy beer glasses got emptied, people started to dance and the atmosphere got wonderfully festive, fun and unmistakably Bavarian!
Beverages for sale included Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr beers from Germany, and local BC wines from Ledlin Family Vineyards (who was the main sponsor and organizer of the event).
Live music took place in the Biergarten pretty much all day. In the evenings and other times performers typically included Uncle Hans on his accordion, the Oktoberators, MC Billy Jones and others.
At Port Moody Oktoberfest, you would have heard a mix of traditional accordion, tuba, oompah and polka-style tunes, but also a bit of more modern music too.
Food and Beverage Prices
At Port Moody Oktoberfest some food items and other things were purchased with cash, but many were bought with tokens. Upon arrival guests purchased tokens at a cost of about $3 per token. The tokens could have then been redeemed inside the venue for food, drinks and souvenirs.
Most of the clothing as well as the pork hocks, bratwurst, kettle corn, donuts and Hurricane potatoes required cash payment, but drinks and most other food items were sold via tokens. In previous years beers and wine cost 2 tokens (so $6 a glass), schnitzel cost 4, pretzels were 2, and corn at the corn hut cost 1.
Below are some tips and other general information that would have helped you make the most out of your experience at Port Moody Oktoberfest.
TIP #1: This was a great Oktoberfest event to go to. Not only was it fun, well-attended, and about as authentic an Oktoberfest party as a community like Port Moody could put on, but it was also close to public transit and some funds raised at the event went to charity! What more could you have asked for!
TIP #2: The later in the evening you went, the more festive the atmosphere was (as there were more people and more folk getting increasingly merrier). At the same time, however, the later you went the more difficult it became to find a seat in the beer garden. If you were going with a group of friends and wanted a table to sit together at you would have wanted to arrive by at least around 6 pm if not before, at least on the Saturday. The place likely opened at around 5 pm.
TIP #3: The Saturday evening was the busiest time. If you wanted to go on the Saturday evening, you were best off buying your tickets well in advance!
TIP #4: If you arrived early, the weather was good and there was still daylight, you could have considered going for a walk first. The waterfront wasn’t too far away and there were great walking trails all around.
TIP #5: Oktoberfest events are best experienced when you fully immerse yourself into the culture, which means drinking the beer! Consequently, you should have planned your trip home accordingly – either taken public transit or invited a friend who had a car but doesn’t like to drink.
TIP #6: It was nice to invite your friends and go as a group. The more the merrier! If a big group though, as mentioned above, you would have planned to arrive in the very early evening so you could find a table to sit at. Also, as pointed out in TIP #5 above, we recommended that you should convince at least one of your friends to be the designated driver!
For more information check out the Port Moody Oktoberfest website.
For details about other similar events at other Lower Mainland venues in the fall, click Vancouver Oktoberfest Beer Festivals.
For a list of other kinds of major events throughout the year, click Festivals & Events.
For information about the town and surrounding area, click Port Moody.
And for information about the region’s other main October cultural celebrations, click Vancouver Halloween Events.