Mark Your Calendar

by Jun 24, 2024Events, Online Exclusives, South Brunswick

Plans are underway for the 11th Annual Calabash Oktoberfest on October 26.

Dawn McMillan, event coordinator of Calabash Oktoberfest, says the date for the 11th annual event is scheduled for October 26. Calabash Oktoberfest is a one-day German food, beer and music festival, celebrating the traditions of the inaugural Oktoberfest in Munich in 1810 in honor of Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Calabash Oktoberfest was started as an avenue to raise funds for local charities, and this year the primary charity will be Paws-Ability, a local nonprofit based in Brunswick County that works to improve animal welfare.

Calabash Oktoberfest is a local effort spearheaded by Hannelore Philipp, a native of Munich, Germany, transplanted to the Carolinas.

Philipp pushed for and organized the first Calabash Oktoberfest in 2014 to help raise funds for a local civic group. The event was a success and has been a local community treasure each year since! For 2024 Phillipp has enlisted the help of longtime local and repeat Oktoberfest vendor, Dawn McMillan, to coordinate the event and do the legwork involved in putting on a great Oktoberfest. Dawn has more than a decade of experience working at events and festivals through her family business, Dixieland Kettle Corn Company, LLC. This is a transition year, but both Philipp and McMillan are confident that The Calabash Oktoberfest will thrive and grow moving forward with their combined experience and generous support from the community!

Calabash NC Oktoberfest 2024

On the day of the event, the gates open at 11 for patrons to come in, sign up for any raffles or contests they would like to participate in, and take some time to browse through and shop the wide assortment of some of the area’s finest arts and crafts vendors. The food and beer vendors will be ready to serve at 11 am.  Festival–goers can expect to feast on bratwurst, pretzels, German potato salad, kettle corn and, new this year, traditional European Chimney Cakes. There will be at least one additional food truck providing more American-based foods and snacks.

The festival features an all-day performance (12 to 5 pm by the Wilmington-based Harbour Towne Fest Band, which has been a staple attraction of the festival from the beginning.

The band pumps out high-energy traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest music and gets the crowd involved in singing and dancing. There will be a band break mid-day for folks to compete in the Arm Wrestling Contest, the Beer Stein Holding Contest and the HammerSchlagen Contest.  For the first time in 2024, Calabash Oktoberfest will be hosting a cornhole tournament that runs throughout the day on the side lot of the event.

2024 Calabash Oktoberfest

The event is free to attend, however donations at the gate are always accepted and appreciated!

Want to go?
Calabash Oktoberfest
October 26, 11 am to 5 pm
Stay up to date on the happenings and events by following the event’s Facebook

Vendors and Sponsors
Vendor spots and sponsorship opportunities are available. Individuals or businesses interested in participating should contact Calabash Oktoberfest via Facebook or by emailing

Image courtesy of kzenon