Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, USA – Cincinnati

49.) Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, USA – Cincinnati – September 20, 2013

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Who knew that a block party near Fountain Square in 1976…

…would eventually turn into America’s biggest Oktoberfest filled with weiner dog races…

..and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance (video from Associated Press) led by such celebrities as George Takei?

This was my first time ever to visit Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, USA

…and I was excited after finding an app…

…where I could plan my festival eating in advance.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t plan the weather…

…so the large German-loving crowds turned into puddles, umbrellas, and wet festival goers…

…who often were found under doorways and awnings.

But there were ways around the rain…

…like a $40 All Access pass inside this tent…

…where you got music, Hofbrauhaus beer, food and a souvenir..

…or the few beer tents along the side streets (one even had TV).

And speaking of beer…

…this Oktoberfest Zinzinnati had the biggest variety I had ever seen…

…and they came in from Cleveland (Great Lakes)…

…Germany (Erdinger)…

…and Cincinnati itself (Moerlein)…

…just be sure to drink responsibly…

…since there were mobile units to help keep you in line.

That’s why it was a good idea to soak up the beer with goetta reubens (Porkopolis Goetta Haus)…

…Limburger cheese sandwiches…

…sausages…

…cabbage rolls…

…pretzels…

…strudels…

…cream puffs…

…and all sorts of German-inspired dishes!

In fact, I was so awestruck by the variety of both beer and food, that I was surprised by the (relatively) limited amount of German souvenirs.

Sure, there was a main souvenir shop…

…with scattered smaller ones…

…selling official merchandise like weiner dog hats.

There was even a cool chicken hat vendor halfway up the main drag.

But where were the German vendors with lederhosen, German hats, gingerbread, clocks and all that sort of thing?

I only ask because this is the supposed to be the second largest Oktoberfest in the world – the first being in Munich – and most other Ohio Oktoberfests had plenty of stuff.

Were they going to show up with the rides on Saturday?

Or were they hiding from the rain?

Because the weather was crappy enough to put plastic on the stage…

…or move bands from the stage altogether…

…and onto dry spots under the sidewalk awning.

But fortunately, even in the rain…

…the performers at the festival played their hearts out…

…and helped festival goers, like myself, have a great time!

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