The Portland Polish Festival and Occidental Oktoberfest Are Back for the First Time Since 2019

“We’re so excited to welcome everyone back to our festival, which is a tribute to our Polish heritage.”

Occidental_Thomas-Teal_2 (Occidental Brewing, Thomas Teal)

More than three years after COVID-19 canceled every festival, fair and large-scale public function, you might assume that all of the events that will return have by now. Not so! Two parties are emerging from a very long pandemic pause—more of a sabbatical at this point—and both happen to take place in just a few weeks.

The Portland Polish Festival—the oldest of its kind in the Western U.S.—is back after a three-year break. First held in 1993, the two-day event will take place Sept. 16 and 17 at 3900 N Interstate Ave., right next to the St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church. The festival, which typically draws some 12,000 people, features plenty of Polish food (visitors eat an average of 15,000 pierogi each year), live music, polka contests, vendor booths and a beer garden. And it doesn’t cost a dime to get in to watch all of the entertainment.

“We’re so excited to welcome everyone back to our festival, which is a tribute to our Polish heritage,” festival organizer Anna Gindlesperger said in a statement. “Polish Festival is a nonprofit event staffed solely by volunteers dedicated to making your visit a wonderful experience. All net proceeds go directly to maintaining the operation of our historical Polish Hall and all of the cultural programming activities.”

Also back for the first time since 2019 is Occidental Brewing’s Oktoberfest. The St. Johns brand that specializes in German-style beer is encouraging folks to strap their lederhosen on for its signature celebration, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 23.

All ages are welcome, though the main attraction is, of course, the beer. For those interested in drinking (and if you’re going to an Oktoberfest, that is assumed), a souvenir festival mug and your first fill costs $12. After that, each beer is $6.

While there, be sure to try both seasonals—the malty Festbier and a fresh hop Pilsner. There will also be three new offerings available from Further, Occidental’s new spinoff label that allowed founders Ben and Dan Engler to begin to produce styles that are outside of the company’s core lineup. And thanks to the installation of three different pouring stations, you’ll never wait in line very long for your next pint.

“We are very excited to finally bring our biggest party of the year back to life,” Ben Engler said in a statement.

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