Ben Harrison

Ben Harrison

When the traditional tapping of the keg signals the beginning of Oktoberfest, the Burgermeister performing the honor will represent two of Cullman's oldest German families.

Ben Harrison, who serves as director of the Cullman Regional Airport, has been tapped as the 2019 Burgermeister. He is a descendant of the Basch and Woerz families that arrived in the area from Germany around 1874.

"I was surprised when I was told I would be Burgermeister, but this is a great honor for my family and me," Harrison said. "I don't know all the reasons my family came here all those years ago, but many people were looking for new opportunities and they survived and helped build a great community that we all enjoy now."

As a fifth-generation descendant of the German settlers, Harrison said appreciating the history of the community and how it grew through the years is important.

"I've said often that you need to know the history to know where you're going in life," Harrison said. "It's valuable for all of us to understand our history and the values we inherited."

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at Festhalle Platz, 209 1st Ave. NE. The Alabama Craft Bier Garten is located next to Festhalle. The schedule for this year's event:

MONDAY, OCT. 1

8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German Music

9:00 a.m. - 2 p.m. – School Tours at the Cullman County Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. - Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. – Wolfgang Moritz, German music

5:00 p.m. - 7 p.m. – St. John's German Dinner at the church / 734-0344 / Adults $12 and Children $5

TUESDAY, OCT. 2

8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German music

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. – School Tours at the Cullman County Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. – Freddie Day Catering - German Food

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German Music

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 3

8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German Music

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – School Tours at the Cullman County Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

10:30 a.m. – until - Freddie Day Catering - German Food

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Terri Pines Country Club German Lunch Buffet, reservation required / 256-739-0738 / $18

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German Music

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Sacred Heart German Dinner at the church / 256-734-3730 / Adults $12 Children $5 / Wolfgang Moritz

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. - Carriage Rides at Festhalle

5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. – Alabama Craft Bier Garten

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Hanceville High School German Band

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies; Burgermeister Induction / Miss Oktoberfest

6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. – Children’s Activities at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

7:00 p.m. – Paper Airplane Contest at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

7:30 p.m. – Pickle Eating Contest (14 and under) at Festhalle

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. - Terry Cavanagh & Alpine Express - German Music

8:00 p.m. – Best German Costume, Longest Beard / Braid Contest at Festhalle

9:00 p.m. – Stein Hoisting Contest at Festhalle

THURSDAY, OCT. 4

7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Farmer's Market

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – School Tours at the Cullman County Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. – Alabama Craft Bier Garten

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Senior Day

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. – Terry Cavanagh & Alpine Express - German Music

10:30 a.m. – until – Freddie Day Catering - German Food

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Senior Day Lunch at Festhalle

Noon – 2:00 p.m. – Senior Day Bingo at Festhalle

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Alabama Craft Bier Garten

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. - Carriage Rides at Festhalle

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – All Steak German Buffet Dinner / 256-734-4322 / $25

5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. - Cullman Community Band with Gary Taylor

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Children’s Activities at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

7:00 p.m. - Candlelight Walking Tour beginning at Cullman Depot, 304 1st Ave. NE

7:00 p.m. – Paper Airplane Contest at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

7:30 p.m. – Pickle Eating Contest (14 and under) at Festhalle

6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. - Terry Cavanagh & Alpine Express - German Music

8:00 p.m. – Best German Costume, Longest Beard / Braid Contest at Festhalle

9:00 p.m. – Stein Hoisting Contest at Festhalle

FRIDAY OCT. 5

10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Arts & Crafts at Depot Park

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – School Tours at the Cullman County Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

10:30 a.m. – until – Freddie Day Catering - German Food

11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. – Wolfgang Moritz - German Music

1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - Josh and Judy Allison - Band

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Route 161 Happy Wanderers - Band

3:30 p.m. - Midnight – Alabama Craft Bier Garten

3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.Kurt Heinecke

4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Children’s Activities at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Christ Lutheran Church German Dinner at the church / 256-734-7056/Adults $12 / Children $5

5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. – Cullman Oktoberfest Classic Car Show, 1st Ave. Warehouse District

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Carriage Rides at Festhalle

6:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – The BeatLads (Beatles cover band)

7:00 p.m. – Paper Airplane Contest at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

7:30 p.m. – Pickle Eating Contest at Festhalle

8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. – Overtones - Band

8:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Best German Costume, Longest Beard / Braid Contest

10:00p.m. – 10:15 p.m. – Stein Hoisting Contest

10:15 p.m. - Midnight – Brandon Elder (American Idol Contestant from Arab, AL)

SATURDAY, OCT. 6

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Farmer's Market

8:00 a.m. – Oktoberfest 5K & 10K run (registration starts at 7 a.m.)

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Arts & Crafts at Depot Park

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Children’s Activities at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.- Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Display at the Museum

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Oktoberfest Junior Sidewalk Art Show in front of City Hall, prizes awarded

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. – K-9 For A Cause, Cullman Kiwanis Club at Depot Park (registration at 8:00 a.m.)

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Carriage Rides at Festhalle

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. – Cullman East and West Elementary Singers/ Cullman Middle & High School Singers

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Sacred Heart Church Bingo/ Concessions sold / 256-734-4563

10:00 a.m. - Midnight – Alabama Craft Bier Garten

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Wallace State Singers

11:00 a.m. - Noon – Wallace State Jazz Band

10:30 a.m. – until – Freddie Day Catering - German Food

Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Lions Club Bed Races at Depot Park

12:30 p.m. – Bratwurst Eating Contest at Festhalle

1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. – Geoff Ryan & The Pragmatics - Band

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Paper Airplane Contest Finals at the Children’s Area Parking Lot

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Route 161 Happy Wanderers - Band

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Corn Hole Tournament at Goat Island Brewery sponsored by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church / Food Truck/ Amateur registration $30 a team / Professional registration $50 a team / Contact # 256-734-6580 / stpaulscullman.com

6:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Avenue G - Band

8:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Best German Costume, Longest Beard / Braid Contest

8:15 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. – Round 2 - Band

9:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Stein Hoisting Contest at Festalle

10:00 p.m. - Midnight – Fly By Radio - Band

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