CINCINNATI — No one was grilling brats and sauerkraut this year on the morning of Oktoberfest. There were no tents lining the streets, no kegs waiting to be tapped. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati looks a lot different. This year, most of the party is in “za haus” (virtual).
The opening ceremony will still take place Friday, but it will be streamed live online. The same goes for the World’s Largest Chicken Dance; party goers will be dancing from home Saturday night.
But for those who want to celebrate, The Banks is still the official Zelebration Zone. Bars and restaurants are ready to serve up Oktoberfest specials. Patrons should expect the same social distancing as any other day.
Losing the official Oktoberfest celebration will prove to be another blow to businesses, but they’re hoping people still come out to support them.
Oktoberfest spokesperson Rich Walburg said the event is vital for the businesses that participate every year, so they’re looking for ways to continue that safely.
“But this year specifically it's important to the morale of this region,” Walburg said. “We need something. The Reds are turning it around, the Bengals have some process, but right now we need a little bit of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati just to help our morale as we wade through this pandemic.”
Although some things aren’t happening this year, like the Running of the Wieners, there are still some events for people to enjoy:
- Friday, Sep. 18, 6 p.m. - Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Official Opening Ceremony
- Saturday, Sep. 19, 6 p.m. - World’s Largest Chicken Dance led by Zinzinnati media zelebrities at bars and restaurants across the region and online In Za Haus
- Friday, Sep. 25, 6 p.m. – Samuel Adams Stein Hoist Challenge, via Zoom
- Saturday, Sep. 26, 6 p.m. - World’s Largest Oktoberfest Toast & Prost led by Jim Koch, Founder of Samuel Adams, via Zoom
- Every night, Sep. 18-27, 6 p.m. - Singing of Ein Prosit with special guests, in bars and restaurants across the region and online In Za Haus
- Every night, Sep. 18-27 - Oktoberfest Zinzinnati live and virtual entertainment & performance