What's new at Oktoberfest this year

The 37th annual Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati USA will include both new features and beloved traditions.

Here's what's new at this year's beloved celebration of all things German in the Tri-State:

*Glockenspiel: In many German villages there is a glockenspiel-- a clock tower with animated figures that mark the passing of each hour. For the first time, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati will have a glockenspiel as well. But no mechanical people here—actual people will mark each hour at this "living" glockenspiel. When the clock strikes, the music will kick in and entertainers will emerge and ring in the hour. The Glockenspiel will be in the Hudepohl Bar & Bier Garten.

* Es ist Eine Anwendung Für Die (There's an App for That): Did you make it to Oktoberfest but forget to check out the schedule or strategize your plan of attack? Fear not! An app for iPhones and Androids is available that will turn an Oktoberfest rookie into a 37-year veteran. And the Oktoberfest mobile site can be utilized with any smart phone with web access. Download for iOs at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oktoberfest-zinzinnati/id462292274?mt=8 and for Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cincinnati.Oktoberfest&hl=en .

*World's Largest Chicken Dance: For years, an all-star cast of celebrities have served as the grand marshal of Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. Last year, Reds great and Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan led thousands of partyin' poultry in the dance. When asked of the dance, fellow Reds great Johnny Bench said tongue-in-cheek, "Joe just set the Big Red Machine back 20 years." This year, former Reds pitching great Tom Browning will lead the dance.

*Running of the Wieners: On Friday, Sept. 21 at noon on Fountain Square in the heart of Zinzinnati, Oktoberfest will get off to a running start with the wildly-popular Running of the Wieners. Now in its sixth year, the Running of the Wieners features heats of daschunds, the official mascot of Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, competing in a "paw" race across Fountain Square. Each dog will be provided its competition "race gear" hot dog bun costume. Last year's winner, Cookie, ran the 100-foot race in 3.92 seconds.

*World Bratwurst-Eating Championship: Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, the top-ranked competitive eater in the world, will be at the Hudepohl Bar & Bier Garten on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. to defend his crown and seek a historic "three-peat" at the thirdannual World Bratwurst Eating Championship. In 2011, Chestnut consumed 35 brats in 10 minutes.

*Wahl Face the Day Tour: The Wahl styling team will be on the lookout for the "Man of Cincinnati" during Oktoberfest. The 30-foot mobile barbershop will be accessible to all Oktoberfestgoers with master barbers giving free trims, tips and grooming advice to facial hair-clad gentlemen. The guy with the best facial hair will receive the "Man of Cincinnati" title, $500 and Wahl products.

*Stein Hoist Heard Round the World: In conjunction with the Oktoberfest celebrations in Boston and Denver, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati toasters will join Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams, for the "Stein Hoist Heard Round the World" at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22 on Fountain Square.

Fore more information on this year's Oktoberfest, go to http://www.wcpo.com/generic/entertainment/citybeat/local_events/Oktoberfest-2012 .

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