The largest Oktoberfest in the world outside of Germany is upon us once again. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will feature the usual favorites such as the Running of the Wieners, the World’s Largest Chicken Dance (the grand marshals this year are Andy Dalton and A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals), the stein hoisting championship, the Gemuetlichkeit Games, the multiple stages of live music and, of course, lots of German food and a wide variety of beer.
There are also a couple of twists on the goods and entertainment this year….
1. JAWS VS. THE VEGETARIAN
First you had Mayweather vs. McGregor. Now, you have Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who will be shooting for his eighth consecutive title at the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati World Brat-Eating Championships, taking on Gideon “The Truth” Oji, the Kale Eating Champion of the World.
While the Nigerian-born Oji is not a vegetarian per se (he has participated in eating competitions involving hot dogs, chicken wings, and hamburgers), he is the two-time champion of New York’s Kale Yeah!, billed as the world’s healthiest eating competition. Oji actually defeated Jaws at Kale Yeah! last July by consuming 22 16-ounce bowls of raw kale (no seasoning or ingredients) in eight minutes (compared to Jaws’ mere 20 bowls).
Can Oji replicate his earlier victory against Jaws with bratwurst? You’ll have to come to the Christian Moerlein Glockenspiel and Beer Garden at the corner of 3rd and Walnut streets to find out. The contest starts at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17.
2. BEER-FLAVORED ICE CREAM?
The Braxton Brewing Company and Graeter’s Ice Cream have collaborated on two craft beers in the past, including the Braxton Blueberry Pie Brown Ale, which will be served at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati this year. Now, evidently, the time has come for Braxton to return the favor.
After much reported discussion on how a beer-flavored ice cream would go over with the public, Graeter’s will be unveiling their newest ice cream, carrying a mystery beer flavor, at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.
3. NEW SAM ADAMS
In addition to tapping that first keg during the open ceremonies, Jim Koch will be debuting the latest Sam Adams craft beer, a tart New England IPA called Tricorne (yes, it’s named after the hat).
With additional collaboration from Urban Artifacts breweries and brewed with Paw Paw fruit, Tricorne will be debuting simultaneously at Oktoberfest Zinzinnnati and the Ohio Pawpaw Festival in Albany.
4. R.I.P. MICK NOLL
Before passing away last November at the age of 74, Mick Noll had owned Covington restaurants since the mid-1970s. Every year, he donned his lederhosen and served food at area Oktoberfests.
While this will be the first Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in many years without him, his family is continuing the tradition. So stop by the Mick Noll’s Covington Haus booth for some goetta balls, potato pancakes, super bratwurst, smoked metts, curry wurst or a hot dog.
WANT TO GO?
What: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
Where: 2nd and 3rd Streets between Elm and Walnut streets, downtown Cincinnati
When: Sept. 15-17, 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Cost: No admission cost
More Info: www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com