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October 4, 2013

Oktoberfest kicks off Saturday (with schedule)

CULLMAN — Cullman’s annual Oktoberfest celebration kicks off Saturday at the Festhalle. Opening ceremonies, traditionally held on Sunday, will begin at 11 a.m. after board members elected to change the kick-off day of the festival.

The day change will allow for the tapping of beer keg and a traditional root beer keg.

Community members will have ample opportunities to take part in the festivities that run through Oct. 12. Cullman museum director Elaine Fuller said many area businesses and restaurants are participating in Oktoberfest.

“Cullman Oktoberfest is a celebration of our heritage, traditions, and values: Cullman descends from Germans and our community work-force has a German work ethic,” Fuller said. “The events surrounding the festival involve music, German food, dancing, and other activities.”

This year’s Oktoberfest Chairman is Ernest Hauk.

“This is the biggest year that we have had with participation and events,” Hauk said. “Having the BrewMaster guild and local brewmasters with their craft beers will be a very good addition, and the participation of the local businesses will make it easier and much better. We’re going to continue with the root beer keg, which is what we used when the city was dry, but we have the beer keg know which connects with the true Oktoberfest spirit. So I’m telling everyone, ‘Willkommenzucullman’ which means welcome to Cullman.”

Fuller said a variety of music will be featured throughout the week-long event German music, rock, bluegrass, and other genres. The museum will also play host to live music.

“In the museum, which highlights our German heritage, we will have musicians playing the mandolin and banjo for people to enjoy,” Fuller said.

“It will be open, free of admission all week long and we will feature a quilt show upstairs which are made by the quilt makers guild.”

Other activities that the community can attend will be the antique car show, barbecue cook-off, art and crafts show, and farmers will be featured with their produce every day in the parking lot behind the museum. Fuller said the well-known Miss Oktoberfest contest and German Fashion show will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6. Many area participants host their main fundraising events during Oktoberfest.

“Sacred Heart will have a yard sale and festival at the school, which is one of their big fundraisers,” Fuller said. “There will be music to dance to every night at the Festhalle.”

Many area businesses are planning to prepare German dishes for the public, Fuller said CRMC will host a German buffet on Tuesday night. The Sacred Heart church will serve bratwurst on Wednesday night. Thursday night All-Steak is preparing a buffet with a large variety of German dishes. On Friday, Christ Lutheran Church will also have a German style dish available.

“Elks Lodge are doing all kinds of food during the week at the festival,” Fuller said. “We will be having vendors also selling food. Johnny's Barbecue, a man from Huntsville will be coming in, selling grilled chicken on a stick. Alabama craft beer will have booths featuring different craft beers that you can sample and purchase. Other local restaurants like Moe’s, Blue Moose and Busy Bee will be involved with Oktoberfest, too.”

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