Riverstreet to celebrate Oktoberfest

Lindsey McCormick

When arriving at Oktoberfest in Munich, there are dozens of tents alive with German bands playing music, typical Bavarian food and abounding varieties of beer.

Beatrice Michaels, junior sociology major, is an exchange student from Germany who had the opportunity to partake in the festivities of Oktoberfest.

“The festival is declared as open after the mayor of Munich has opened one keg, usually in the ‘Schottenhammel’ (a brewery) tent. He takes a wooden hammer and hammers the tab in the keg. He says the words ‘O zapft is,’ and everyone drinks,” Michaels said.

A taste of Germany’s traditions will take place this weekend on River Street in downtown Savannah as they host their annual Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest in Savannah includes arts and crafts exhibitors, wiener dog races, The Rodger Wood bratwurst eating contest, live music, Friday fireworks and beer.

Vendors line the streets of Savannah selling German beer, wine and coke products. Some of the beers that will be available include Warsteiner, Hofbrau and Spaten.

“There are literally hundreds of different beers to try, but the main thing I enjoyed was the non-stop live music,” Keith Ulmer, senior business administration major and previous year attendee, said.

Live music will take place on Savannah’s Southern Eagle Arbor Stage from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. during the festival. Performances include the Rhinelander’s Oompah Band, Chuck Courtenay, The Trainwrecks, The Accomplices and many others.

The Rhinelander’s perform every year and play the infamous “Oompha” song. Oktoberfest performer, Chuck Courtenay, was voted Savannah’s best country act three consecutive years in a row and has opened for big time country stars like Blake Shelton.

Festival hours are from 9 a.m.-12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

River Street has hosted Oktoberfest for the past few decades.

“We have been open for over twenty years and we have been sponsoring the event for as long as I can remember,” Emily Dickinson, Wet Willies director of marketing and Oktoberfest sponsor, said.

Dickinson said, “It is a really great event, family friendly and a lot of fun. We have our Oktoberfest beads, and our whole staff dresses up. We have a really great time with it.”