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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review of Zinzinnati Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, Ohio

 photo 047_zps3c6daabe.jpg photo 035_zps54bdc060.jpgFall is in the air, and my family loves getting out to enjoy all the various fall festivals and celebrations in the area. A couple of months ago we suffered a loss in our family, so we’ve been focusing many of our family excursions on doing the things Uncle Mike used to do. One of his favorite events to attend in the fall was Zinzinnati Oktoberfest, which is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S. This festival is so big, in fact, that GeorgeTakei  led the chicken dance this year.

While it’s true there is an emphasis on beer and sausages at Oktoberfest, there is something for everyone in the family at Zinzinnati Oktoberfest. We started off with bratwurst, which we told the kids were just a fancy hot dog. Uncle Mike always loved getting a cream puff at Oktoberfest, so we had to stop at his favorite tent, Schmidt’s. My kids loved the cream puffs, but they were too big even for my voracious eaters.  The Hofbrauhaus Newport, the first-ever franchise of the oldest continually running Biergarten in the world, also had food and beer tents. My favorite thing from Hofbrauhaus is the fried pickles and authentic Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest Bier, imported from Munich. Sausages and Schnitzels abound, and most tents have hot dogs and potato pancakes for the pickier eaters. And if German food isn’t your thing, I was somewhat surprised to see everything from soul food to walking tacos offered at the many food tents.

 photo 042_zpsfdaf891c.jpgOver the course of the three day festival there are many events celebrating German heritage. The Gemuetlichkeit Games(Goodwill Games) include the beer stein races, log sawing contests, a beer barrel roll, and lots of people dressed in traditional German garb. There is live music everywhere throughout the weekend, as well as various street performers. You can probably dance the chicken dance, my kids’ favorite dance of all time, twice an hour if you time your migrations just right.  Mitzi the weiner dog won the Running of theWeiners race this year dressed in her hot dog bun costume. There is also a carnival area with rides and games, though I will warn you they are charging carnival prices and there are no wristbands or other money-saving deals. Check the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest website for directions and parking. We happened to go on a day the Bengals were playing, so we ended up paying more for parking than is normal.

I’m looking forward to Zinzinnati Oktoberfest 2014- I may even pull the kids out of school for the Goodwill Games on that Friday. Until then I’ll be dreaming of the pretzels and beer cheese and bratwurst on pretzel buns smothered in sauerkraut. Prost! 

By guest contributor: Maggie

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