History of Oktoberfest

Here’s the best advice for parking at Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest

It’s almost time for Dayton’s favorite fall festival, Oktoberfest, taking place September 21–23 on the museum grounds of The Dayton Art Institute.

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Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

A Dayton tradition since 1972, Oktoberfest is the museum’s largest annual fundraising event. Oktoberfest typically draws more than 25,000 people to the museum grounds during the weekend. Setup for the event, as well as its large size, limits parking and museum access in the days leading up to and during the festival. The Dayton Art Institute offers some tips and advice for navigating Oktoberfest. 

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Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

There will be plenty of free shuttle service to get everyone to and from Oktoberfest, including the Preview Party. Signs will lead you to the shuttles at the University of Dayton parking lot behind the Marriott off of Patterson Boulevard. Shuttles will run directly to both the Preview Party and Oktoberfest. It’s important to remember that there is no parking on the levee across from the museum or in McKinley Park during any events.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest 2017

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

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Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Friday Lederhosen Lunch parking 

There will be free RTA shuttles from Downtown to Friday, September 21 Lederhosen’s lunch. Shuttles run from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Look for shuttle stop locations along Monument Avenue, Wilkinson Street, Second Street, Main Street and Fifth Street. Street parking is also available in the neighborhood surrounding The DAI.

Preview Party parking 

A free shuttle service will be offered during the Preview Party on Sept. 21, running from the University of Dayton parking lot on River Park Drive. The lot is located between the Dayton Marriott and Cox Media Group (Dayton Daily News/WHIO) building, and River Park Drive may be accessed from either Main Street or Patterson Boulevard. Look for the shuttle signs, and take the free shuttle directly to and from the Preview Party.

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Saturday and Sunday Oktoberfest parking

Oktoberfest can get extremely busy, so its recommended to use the free shuttles provided to avoid the congestion. Oktoberfest goers can park for free at the University of Dayton parking lot on River Park Drive. The lot is located between the Dayton Marriott and Cox Media Group building. River Park Drive may be accessed from either Main Street or Patterson Boulevard. From there, take the free shuttle directly to and from Oktoberfest. On Saturday, shuttles will run continuously from 11:30 a.m. - midnight. On Sunday, shuttles will run continuously from 11:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

BE PATIENT

Please allow extra time for travel and parking if visiting the museum during Oktoberfest weekend. Street parking around The Dayton Art Institute will be very limited on September 22–23. Limited handicap accessible parking will be available in the Masonic Temple and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church lots during Oktoberfest, strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. 

PRO TIP

Ride a bike and completely avoid the parking fiasco. There will be free on-site parking from noon to 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget to drink and ride responsibly!

>> PHOTOS: Oktoberfest 2018

By day, the vibe at the Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest is “more chill,” with people perusing the over 60 artisans on the premises. By night, it’s a party. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer
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