Keg tapped, opening Oktoberfest 2022

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Goat Island Brewing Head Brewer and Operations Manager Matthew Schumacher skillfully taps the keg, kicking off Oktoberfest 2022 on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – With the biergarten opening Thursday afternoon, polka party band Polkawagen put the crowd in the mood for Oktoberfest 2022, which officially got started with the opening ceremonies and tapping of the keg. The early evening saw the crowning of Miss Oktoberfest followed by the candlelight walking tour. Capping off the night was live music by Winston Ramble. 

Paying honor to the memory of 2004 Burgermeister and former Cullman Mayor Dr. Donald E. Green, who passed on July 4 this summer, the opening ceremonies included a prayer in English and in German by St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church’s pastor and 2016 Burgermeister John Richter. Both the American and German flags were displayed by the Honor Guard for the national anthem. 

2021 Burgermeister Casey Harbin officially marked one of his father’s best friend’s, Mike Mullaney, as Burgermeister of Oktoberfest 2022. Joining the two men on stage were former Burgermeisters Ben Harrison (2018), Steve Moore (2019), Nancy Moore (2012), Steve Sides (2020), John Dean (2017), Michael Sullins (2011) and Rev. John Richter (2016). 

The ceremonial keg was hoisted and brought to the stage from the carriage where it was masterfully tapped by Matthew Schumacher, Goat Island Brewing’s head brewer and operations manager. Once tapped, the newest Burgermeister filled his stein and stepped aside to allow the crowd with empty mugs to have theirs filled. 

The Miss Oktoberfest pageant was held with each contestant selecting a cupcake. The young woman will a pretzel in the middle of her treat was deemed the winner. The dirndl-adorned ladies delicately took their first bites with no pretzel in sight. After a few more nibbles, Heidi Armstrong of West Point High School found the pretzel and was named the 2022 Miss Oktoberfest. Other participants included: 

  • Kyra Bales Hanceville High School 
  • Elizabeth Dueland Cullman High School 
  • Berkley Gable Vinemont High School 
  • McKinsey Lomneck Fairview High School 
  • Maddie McKenney Good Hope High School 
  • Madison Perdue Cold Springs High School 
  • Lexi Pitts Holly Pond High School 

Look for an upcoming article on the 2022 Oktoberfest Candlelight Walking Tour and more stories on Friday’s and Saturday’s festivities. 

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