Oktoberfest in downtown McKinney is just around the corner, and city officials are gearing up for this three-day event offering authentic German food, drinks, entertainment, children’s activities and fun.

The event will take place  Sept. 25 from 4–11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 27 from noon to 5 p.m. Oktoberfest boasts attractions for all ages set in one of the largest historic downtowns in the state. Admission and parking are free.

At 6 p.m. Sept. 25, Oktoberfest will kick off as local dignitaries and friends of the festival will lead the Oktoberfest March. The march will be followed immediately by tapping the first keg of McKinney-brewed beer by hammering the bronze spout into a 200-year-old keg with a wooden mallet.

Live entertainment on two stages will take place throughout the event, including authentic German music by Brave Combo, Alpine Village Band and The Royal Klobasneks.

The family-friendly event boasts plenty of activities for children and families, including carnival rides, petting zoo, face painting, Bier barrel races and weenie dog races.

Patina Green Home and Market and Local Yocal Farm to Market will provide an authentic taste of Bavaria with traditional Oktoberfest food.

The Meet the Brewmaster event allows patrons to learn more about the beer served at Oktoberfest. Admission to this event include 15 concession tickets that can be used for food, beer, a T-shirt, stein and a beer sampling event held inside the McKinney Performing Arts Center at various times throughout the festival.

A full schedule of Meet the Brewmaster events can be found on the Oktoberfest website. Tickets will be mailed out a week prior to the event, and participants must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

This year, patrons can “skip the line” and purchase Oktoberfest concession tickets for food and beer prior to the festival. Concession tickets and Meet the Brewmaster tickets can be purchased online or at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St.

Concession tickets are available for purchase with cash or check at the Sheraton McKinney, 1900 Gateway Blvd., and Market Street, 6100 W. Eldorado Pkwy.

A free shuttle service runs onFriday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Shuttles will depart approximately every 20 minutes from the Sheraton McKinney, and Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) will offer a shuttle from First Baptist Church of McKinney, 1615 W. Louisiana St. Free parking is available in 12 public lots surrounding downtown. Detours are marked to access outer lots, as streets will be blocked to through traffic beginning Thursday night, Sept. 25.