CINCINNATI -- Here are five things to watch for at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati this weekend:
Zombies and monsters: The Cincinnati Comic Expo runs through Sunday at the Duke Energy Convention Center. That's right down the street from Fountain Square, so don't be surprised to see some costumed characters cross over between events. Keep your eyes open on Saturday night in particular; that's when the Comic Expo hosts its Zombie Walk.
Stay on celebrity watch: Not only do Comic Expo fans often visit the Oktoberfest festivities, guest stars have been known to join the fun, too. Last year, Henry “The Fonz” Winkler was spotted buying a potato pancake. Adam West and Burt Ward, stars of the 1960s TV camp classic "Batman," will appear at the expo Saturday and Sunday; could this be the year that the original Batman and Robin join the Chicken Dance?
— Jeff Swinger (@swingmanphoto) September 20, 2014
Speaking of crossover crowds: The Bengals will play their first home game of the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium. Thousands of football fans + road closures + Oktoberfest = high potential for traffic jams and limited parking. You have been warned.
Freebies: Here’s what I saw on Friday: Tap Room No. 21 was offering samples of its Oktoberfest, Amber Ale, IPA, Hard-Pressed Cider and Hot Cinnamon Cider; Screamin' Sicilian served free slices of pizza and there were wine tastings, too.
Hats. All kinds of hats.: Chicken hats. Beer hats. Dog hats. There will be no shortage of, er, interesting hats to be seen this weekend. It’s part of the fun, so join in. And remember, you, too, can look like this:
Oktoberfest-Inspired Thoughts: Blame It On The Beer
Cincinnati has no shortage of events that showcase the beauty of our beer. It’s kind of our thing.
With that in mind, a question arose in our newsroom Friday: Is September the beery-est month in Cincinnati?
Think about it. This weekend alone is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Fifty Fest and Moerlein Lager House’s Uberdrome. Last weekend was Cincy Beerfest and MainStrasse Oktoberfest, and there are other Oktoberfest celebrations every weekend of this month. Organizers estimate more than 2,000 barrels of beer will be consumed this weekend at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. (That’s nearly 4 million ounces!) Cincy Beerfest showcased more than 250 craft beers over two days on Fountain Square.
What do you think? Cast your vote, and join me at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati this afternoon for some, ahem, “field research.”
11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Fifth Street, Downtown, between Vine and Sentinel streets
You can reach entertainment editor Tasha Stewart on Twitter at @tstewart2 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.