Midweek Must Mention — Oktoberfest

Cincinnati’s German heritage is dense and rich, and it is our Germanly duty to celebrate accordingly. This weekend (September 20–22) is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, and with over half-a-million people expected to attend, it is the largest Oktoberfest in the country. Don your dirndl, lederhosen, or chicken hat, and prost!

Some facts:

  • The Queen City’s largest cultural influence is its history of German roots, as German immigrants were among the first settlers in the area. “By 1900, over 60 percent of its population was of German background.” (via Wikipedia)
  • Cincinnati is proud owner of the world record for the largest Chicken Dance (48,000 participants), which took place at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in 1994.
  • Did you know that Over-the-Rhine was the core for German immigrants? As we celebrate our German heritage, may we also celebrate the resurgence of Cincinnati’s cultural, retail, and urban eatery epicenter.
  • PSA: just like Irish Car Bombs on St. Patty’s Day, Jäger Bombs carry the same liver hazard.
  • More than 3,600 pounds of sauerkraut are consumed over Zinzinnati’s Oktoberfest weekend. If you’re German and don’t love this delicacy, my sincerest condolences, because yum! ‘Kraut balls! (64,000 of those will be had, too). (via oktoberfestzinzinnati.com)
  • Per cincinnati-cityofimmigrants.com, “German customs clashed with the lifestyle of American-born Protestants who frowned upon the way that German families spent Sundays in theaters, saloons, and various singing societies.” According to the same website, by the 1850s, there were four German-language newspapers.
  • “In the latter part of the nineteenth century, anti-German sentiment declined in the city but was revived once again by American involvement in World War I. City residents changed German street names, banned the teaching of German in schools, and removed German-language publications from libraries.” (via cincinnati-cityofimmigrants.com)
  • Cincinnati loves its German roots. With places like Glier’s goetta (and Goettafest!), Hofbräuhaus, Hudepohl, Kreimer’s Bier Haus, Mecklenburg Gardens, Laszlo’s Iron Skillet, Strass Haus (and all of MainStrasse for that matter) Moerlein Lager House, et al, it is clear Cincinnati near embraces its German ancestry.
  • We have goetta, our very own German-American fare with a Cincinnati spin.
  • Thanks to our Bavarian brethren (and family friends of mine for learning it), the best Oktoberfest song ever is Ein Prosit (“A Toast”). Try it with your friends! The lyrics are:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit

I understand this plays “every 15 minutes” at ÜberDrome (per Date), and I cannot contain my excitement. My response: “Great. Like anyone needs to think I’m more annoying … something I love to yell while drinking.” Not only am I unbelievably excited about ÜberDrome with friends, now I know there is gratuitous Ein Prosit!

I, myself, am more than 50% German (I also have freckles, so I think there is quite a bit of Irish in my lineage. Therefore, when Oktoberfest rolls around, I am 100% German, and when St. Patty’s Day occurs, I am 100% Irish. Basically, I am 200% awesome. I digress.), and I love Cincinnati, so what better way to celebrate my local and international heritage than by attending Oktoberfest?

Lets feiern! (That’s “let’s celebrate” to those of us who don’t speak German.)

Sources:
Wikipedia
www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com
http://cincinnati-cityofimmigrants.com/cci/german.htm

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