CULLMAN, Ala. – Cooler mornings and the arrival of red spider lilies in Cullman foreshadow the arrival of the annual Oktoberfest celebration which begins Saturday, Sept. 24 this year and ends Saturday, Oct. 1, mimicking the September dates of the event in Munich where the largest Oktoberfest party is held.
The Burgermeister for the 41st Oktoberfest celebration in Cullman is Mike Mullaney, a 1980 Cullman High School graduate and cofounder and president of Goat Island Brewing. The proud member of the Cullman Brewers Guild will serve as the symbolic mayor over the Oktoberfest activities.
The salute to Cullman’s German heritage kicks off with “Goatoberfest” at Goat Island Brewing on Saturday, Sept. 24 for an all-day celebration for the whole family, including children and dogs. Beginning at 11 a.m. bounce houses, face painting, a goat petting zoo, German axe throwing and shaved ice will be available. Freddie Day Catering will provide German food and Rusty Turner’s famous Wurst Haus will be on hand. Live music will begin at 12:30 p.m. with Oompah-Calypse followed by Rally Stripe from 4-7 p.m. Avenue G will wrap up the festivities from 7:30-10:30.
On Monday, Sept. 26, St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church, located at 512 Second Ave. SE, will host its yearly German dinner from 5-7 p.m. The church will be offering the $12 meal consisting of wiener schnitzel and sides, carry out only. Tickets are available at the church or O.F. Richter and Sons. Two days later on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Sacred Heart Church will host its German dinner from 4-7 p.m. The $15 dinner will be drive through only as well. The dinner will feature grilled bratwurst from Brickyard Meats, sauerkraut, German potato salad and more. Sacred Heart is located at 112 Second Ave. SE.
Thursday, Sept. 29, will begin the Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism weekend celebration at 9 a.m. at Festhalle for Senior Day at Oktoberfest. At 4 p.m. the biergarten will open, followed by the tapping of the keg and opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. The evening will see the crowning of Miss Oktoberfest at 6:30 and candlelight walking tour at 7. Carriage rides will be available in the evening and live music by Polkawagen and Winston Ramble will round out the day.
The biergarten will be open from 4-11 p.m. Friday with Polkawagen, Doolin Dalton, The Pine Hill Haints and Fly by Radio set to perform. The children’s area will be open from 4-8 p.m. and the kids’ pickle eating contest and kids’ stein hoisting contests are scheduled for 6. At 8, the stein hoisting contest for adults 21 and older will begin.
Saturday will host a packed schedule, including:
- 7 a.m. Registration for 5K/10K
- 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Arts and crafts
- 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Kids’ Area open
- 9 a.m. Cullman Community Band
- 10 a.m. Bingo at Sacred Heart
- 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Biergarten
- 10 a.m. Oktofurfest (Wiener Dog Races, Costume Contest and Pet Parade)
- 10 a.m. Wallace State Singers
- 11 a.m. Wallace State Jazz Band
- 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Carriage Rides
- 11:45 a.m. CHS Choir
- 12:30 p.m. Oompah-Calypse
- 2:30 p.m. Kids’ Stein Hoisting & Kids’ Best Dressed
- 3 p.m. Brat Eating Contest
- 4 p.m. Brez
- 5:30 p.m. Avenue G Band
- 7 p.m. The Overtones
- 8 p.m. Stein Hoisting (21+ only) and Adult Best Dressed
- 9 p.m. Chase Wright
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.cullmanoktoberfestival.com.
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