Oktoberfest guide 2010
From beer steins and barrel races to lederhosen and chicken dances, we've got all the info you'll need for Tulsa's renowned celebration of all things German.
Dust off your souvenir stein, get your belly ready for some bratwurst and brush up on your Deutsch, because it’s time for the annual Oktoberfest.
The event, celebrating everything German, is back for its 32nd year beginning Thursday, and it's gaining quite the reputation. USA Today recently named it one of the 10 best Oktoberfest celebrations in North America.
Dan Dunn, an Imbiber columnist for Playboy.com and theimbiber.net, explains the appeal of the city’s Oktoberfest in USA Today: “Folks in Tulsa like to say you can't spell Oktoberfest without OK. (The event) has the most competitive beer-barrel race of any Oktoberfest in the country.”
New this year is the Wunderbar pass, a four-day event pass for $30 that includes the price of admission, shuttle rides and one pint of beer each day, says Amber Hinkle, executive director of Oktoberfest.
Leah Ford, who is volunteering at the festival for her sixth year, says many people have the misconception that Oktoberfest is just about beer.
“This is false,” she says. “It is a very family oriented festival. There are many activities for children, including rides. There are many vendors selling unique German items and other vendors. My favorite is the lady that sells amber jewelry. I buy a piece from her every year.”
For those who do choose to imbibe, Anheuser-Busch is once again sponsoring free taxi service within Tulsa for those who have had too much fun, Hinkle says. There will be a tent outside the gate where people can sign up and the taxi will take them to the address listed on their driver’s license.
One of the best things about going to Oktoberfest is that your money will go back into the city because Oktoberfest, Inc., is a non-profit organization. More than $850,000 has gone back into the community because of Oktoberfest, according to festival officials.
With good weather forecasted throughout the weekend, Hinkle estimates 60,000 people will take part in the festivities over the four-day period.
What You Need To Know
The fun starts on Thursday night. Geek Rescue, KTUL News Channel 8 and 92.1 The Beat are sponsoring the opening night. Attendees can get into the festival for free on Thursday by downloading a coupon from any of the opening night sponsors’ websites. Charles Ely, from Channel 8, will emcee the opening evening and Bier Garten festivities. On Saturday, senior citizens can enter for free from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
On Saturday, it’s time to get down and dirty, as teams from all over compete for bragging rights in the Bier Barrel Race. Teams of six compete to see who can roll an empty barrel, or keg, down and back and hand off to their team members first. It sounds easy, but add in beer and it becomes a lot more difficult. And, as USA Today points out, it gets competitive. The winning team receives $250 to donate to a charity of its choice.
The dogs get their time to shine on Sunday during the 2nd annual Running of the Weiners. For $5, owners can sign up their Dachshunds to compete in the race. Although there are differing opinions, a popular theory is that German breeders combined German, English and French hounds and terriers to create the dog that is synonymous with a long torso and short legs, often nicknamed hotdog or sausage dog.
Tents will abound during this year’s festival, Hinkle says. “This is probably one of our best entertainment lineups.”
Here’s what to look for
Imported beer from Munich, Germany, or wine can be savored in the Die Bierstube tent while enjoying the sounds of live Bavarian style entertainment. Musicians from Germany, as well as regional ethnic groups, will also be on hand.
Two tents will be dedicated to merchandise and apparel so you can remember and enjoy Oktoberfest all year long with a Pot Belly stein, Oktoberfest T-shirt or other souvenir.
Stained glass, jewelry and other German novelties will be available at Das Kunst Zelt & Der Kunst Market.
For the kids, head to Das Jugenzeldt where children can take part in free arts and crafts activities, arcade games and use two Wii game consoles. At the end of the festival, a drawing will be held to give away the Wii consoles, says Hinkle.
Get your groove on at Der Bier Garten, the festival’s main tent and where you can Chicken dance and learn to polka dance, all while enjoying your favorite beverage.
Thursday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Cost (*For the first time, people will be able to pay with a credit card)
Adult admission: $6
Children 12 and under are free
Shuttle: $4 (Shuttle are available from Trade Winds Central, 3141 East Skelly Drive; Hilton Southern Shills, 7902 S. Lewis Ave.; OSU Tulsa Campus, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.)