September 17, 2013
Prost! Oktoberfest Zinzinnati beginnt Freitag!
Just in case you aren't fluent in German, that means, "Cheers! Oktoberfest Zinzinnati begins Friday!" - and we can't wait! Presented by Sam Adams and Hillshire Farm, this year's festival has more to offer than ever before - including a whole extra night of partying. The first celebration of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will begin at noon on this Friday, September 20, with the 7th Annual Hillshire Farm Running of the Wieners. Picture this - a hundred dachshunds wearing hot dog costumes racing across Fountain Square. If you've never seen it before, it's a can't-miss event Friday during your lunch break.
For the first time ever, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will officially kick off FRIDAY at 5:00 pm - just in time for happy hour! Join us on Fountain Square for the Gemuetlichkeit (goodwill) Games featuring local media personalities competing in games like beer barrel roll races and stein hoisting contests. The festival will be open Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, so come on down after work to celebrate the weekend like Germans do - with cold beer!
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On tap this year:
Join Oktoberfest goers on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11:30 a.m. for the official 2013 opening ceremonies and keg tapping on Fountain Square. Sam Adams founder Jim Koch will be tapping the keg!
Returning in 2013 will be the Hudepohl Glockenspiel -- with a bar on the ground level and a stage above the bar, this larger than life clock can't be missed. Every hour on the hour when the clock strikes, the music will kick in and entertainers will emerge on the stage to ring in the hour with dances, toasts and souvenirs for the crowd. Expect celebrity guest entertainers during certain hours too! The Glockenspiel will be located at the Hudepohl Bier Garten at Fifth and Broadway.
World's Largest Chicken Dance featuring George Takei!
One of the favorite events at Oktoberfest is the World's Largest Chicken dance. One of the ways this celebration distinguishes itself from the others is the chicken dance - thousands of dancers have congregated every year since 1994 when Zinzinnatians set the record for the largest Chicken Dance in the world. This year, George Takei of Star Trek fame will lead them on Fountain Square at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21 - will you join?
Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Championship
Raise your Beer! How long can you raise your beer stein? The Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Championship, a contest of grit, determination, strength and the desire to drink the contents of the stein, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 5:00 p.m. on Fountain Square after a series of preliminary events hosted at local bars and pubs. The winner will be crowned the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Champion.
Hillshire Farm World Brat Eating Championship
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, the top ranked competitive eater in the world, will return in 2013 to participate in this fourth annual Hillshire Farm World Bratwurst Eating Championship. These weapons of mass digestion will show Zinzinnati the true meaning of intestinal fortitude on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the Hudepohl Glockenspiel.
Attention Sports Fans!
Don't want to miss the big game - or any game? You can watch your favorite baseball, college football, and NFL teams all weekend long in the Yuengling and Beck's Fest Tents. Both tents will feature big screen tv's for all the sports addicts out there. Keep up with your fantasy teams and enjoy the games while enjoying some good old-fashioned German fare!
Street Closings - NEW FOR 2013
- The Friday night opening will require closures of Fifth Street and Vine Street effective at 9:30 am on Friday the 20th.
- Also impacted at that time will be cross-streets Walnut, Main, and Sycamore between Fourth and Sixth Streets.
- Bus traffic will be allowed to travel south on Walnut to Government Square, Government Square to Main and Sixth until 6:30 on that Friday.
We do want to stress that access to parking garages will be allowed at Fourth and Sixth Streets as usual. There will be no access from Fifth Street to northbound Interstate 71, eastbound Columbia Parkway or southbound I-471. Additional Cincinnati police officers will be on hand starting Friday morning to assist drivers who are impacted. All streets will be reopened effective 6 am on Monday, September 23.
Learn more at OktoberfestZinzinnati.com. Plus, visit us on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #zinzinnati before and during the event!