Monday, September 22, 2008

Such a fest

What is fall in Cincinnati without Oktoberfest? Without thousands of people crowding Fifth Street and Fountain Square, drinking Warsteiner, Heineken, eating metts and brats and wrapping up with the occasional cream puff? For everything that Cincinnati is criticized for, we do have the North American market cornered on Oktoberfest-ing (is that a word?)

According to the Cincinnati Regional Chamber's website Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, which officially began in 1976 routinely attracts over half a million people downtown each year. The official Oktoberfest site posted these interesting stats on what people eat at the Fest:
  • 87,542 metts
  • 80,500 bratwurst
  • 64,000 sauerkraut balls
  • 56,250 sausages
  • 24,640 potato pancakes
  • 23,004 soft pretzels
  • 20,000 cream puffs
  • 16,002 strudel
  • 6,000 jumbo pickles
  • 3,600 lbs. sauerkraut
  • 1,875 lbs. German potato salad
  • 702 lbs. Limburger cheese
  • 700 pigtails
  • 400 pickled pigs feet
Seriously? Pigtails and pickled pigs feet? Ew. Thumbs down on those two delicacies from me.

Oktoberfest is more than food and drink. This year HYPE threw a YP party called HYPE Haus which from what I hear, was a great time. There were numerous Fest tents with German bands playing polka favorites and German drinking songs. The 2008 souvenier cup was a green plastic beer stein which pratically everyone had, and even though I saw tons of friends there, I'm sure I "Prosted" with at least a dozen perfect strangers. FYI -- Prost is cheers in German.

Fountain Square was front and center this year, with the P&G music stage, the John Morrell weiner mobile, Q102 and various souvenier booths. Aaron bought these green light-up glasses, which were a big hit with the ladies. Graeter's was doing a brisk business, as were the two Fifth Third ATMs on the square.

Finally, the best part of Oktoberfest...the chicken hat. True, I do not own one of these fashionable head toppers, but one day I will. I'm in awe of the sheer variety of hats - Bengals, Reds, green, blue, purple...anything you can imagine. The best part is seeing the chicken hatters doing the chicken dance. Only in Cincinnati.
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