Zinzinnati zeal grows as Oktoberfest nears

By Gus Nations IV, Copy Editor

Ah, the middle of September: the perfect time to celebrate Oktoberfest. That’s right, this weekend from Sept. 16- 18 Cincinnati will embrace its German heritage and convert Second and Third Streets between Elm and Walnut Streets into the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S. and the second largest in the world. 

Since Cincinnati began hosting the event in 1975, it has grown to attract nearly 700,000 people annually.

Besides the beer, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati celebrates traditions such as the Gemütlichkeit Games, a series of races  including log sawing, nail hammering, beer barreling and the highly-competitive dachshund race, affectionately known as “the running of the wieners.”

Last year, competitive eater Joey Chestnut made an appearance to win the brat eating contest, finishing 68 brats in 10 minutes. 

Oktoberfest has grown to become a staple of Cincinnati autumnal culture. Around Xavier, the event has become an important representation of Cincinnati’s warm community.

“As a multicultural member of Xavier’s community, it excites me to explore a new culture. Oktoberfest allows me to experience traditional Germanic heritage through activities such as the wiener dog race and the largest brat eating contest in the country,” senior communications major Diego Pulido said. “Oktoberfest in Cincinnati is rivaled nowhere but Germany itself, meaning this year will be a look into authentic German tradition.”

“It’s really fun,” junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public major Sam Skelley said. “I really like the log sawing race and the other Gemütlichkeit games. It’s exciting to see Cincinnati come together to celebrate its rich German ancestry.”

Not only is Oktoberfest an exciting weekend activity for current Xavier students, but it has become a popular draw for alumni and parents eager to get in on the action.

Recent graduate Mike Henning, who has plans to travel from Philadelphia to Cincinnati this weekend for Oktoberfest, emphasized that he was most excited “to drink some good beer.”