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June 20, 2006

Oktoberfest

Festival to be shortened two days

Cullman County’s Oktoberfest celebration will be a condensed version this year, but still full of the activities and events that bring to mind Cullman’s rich German heritage.

Members of the Oktoberfest Executive Board met Tuesday to discuss shortening the celebration from 10 days to eight.

While the number of days of the festival have been decreased, board president the Rev. Bob Kurtz said those who have enjoyed the event in the past won’t miss a thing.

“Oktoberfest has been shortened, but the activities have been increased,” Kurtz said as board members enjoyed a German meal prepared by Pete Misegades.

Kurtz said the change will allow for more sustained activities throughout the week, to build up interest and excitement from the opening ceremonies on Oct. 1 to the last event on Oct. 8.

The last few days of the event have traditionally been the biggest draw to the festival, with the arts and crafts fair, Sacred Heart School German Fest and Street Sale and last year’s wiener dog race and bratwurst eating contest attracting shoppers and spectators to the area around the Cullman County Museum. This year, those events will be shifted to Saturday and/or Sunday. The arts and crafts fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday, with the Heritage Play also on Sunday. The final Saturday will include the Doggy Days events, junior art show, Sacred Heart’s annual event, volksmarch, and historic district tours.

Kurtz said concentrating events on the last weekend will also help with tourism, giving them a better idea of when to visit the city. While the opening ceremonies on Oct. 1 is more of a community-oriented affair, the last two days are meant to attract both locals and visitors, he said.

In between, the special German dinners hosted by area business, churches and organizations will occur on their normal days, except for the annual dinner at St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church.

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