Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Provided, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

The nation's largest German-heritage celebration is this weekend, and with more beer choices than usual.

Cynthia Oxley with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber says visitors drank more than 2,000 barrels of beer at last year's Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

“New for 2015, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is excited to feature microbreweries and craft beers," Oxley says. "In celebration of 40 years, we’ll have 40 craft beers at the all new Brewer’s Alley, which is on Broadway off Fifth Street." 

Oxley says Brewer's Alley will be open only on Saturday and Sunday. 

Provided, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati takes place this weekend, starting off at noon Friday with the Running of the Wieners. It’s the largest Oktoberfest in America, with a weekend devoted to a celebration of our German heritage, the music, the food, the beer, and, of course, the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, led by this year’s Grand Marshal, former Bengals’ quarterback Ken Anderson

Disney-ABC Television Group

Update 11:55 a.m. Friday Aug. 28:

The Oktoberfest Zinzinnati winner appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is no sure thing, contrary to my original post below, says Rich Walburg, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber communications director.

Walburg just called me back to say he was wrong about the local winner going to "Kimmel." The winner of the Sam Adams Stein Hoisting Competition Sept. 19 on Fountain Square COULD appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” – if he or she has one of the top three times for holding the beer stein in similar contests across the country, he says.

The three strongest men and women – those who held a full beer stein the longest – will go to the “Kimmel” show, he says.

So start working out!

City of Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati has a busy weekend on tap. Oktoberfest kicks off this evening and runs through Sunday. There's also a 14K run, and UC's Homecoming, all capped off by a Bengals home game.

City officials are encouraging people to plan ahead and use public transportation as a number of streets will be closed or detoured.

As you're donning your lederhosen and getting ready to head  to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati keep in mind there will be some road closures and parking changes.

These streets are now closed until 5 a.m. Monday:

  • Fifth Street between Vine and Sentinel
  • Walnut between Fourth and Sixth
  • Main Street between Fourth and Sixth
  • Sycamore between Fourth and Sixth
  • Broadway between Fourth and Sixth

Broadway will be temporarily converted from one-way to two-way between Seventh and Sixth Streets.

We now know who'll be leading the chicken dance at next month's Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.  

The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce announced Monday actor George Takei will be the event's grand marshal and will lead the Saturday dance.

“Who famously played Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series and six movies that followed,” said Chamber Vice President Patrick Sheeran.  “George continues to be extremely active and popular decades after the show went to syndication.”

Takei is also taking part in performances that weekend with the Cincinnati Pops.  

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Fifth Street closes Friday night at 6pm to make way for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

The 37th annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati begins this weekend.  The event billed as the 2nd largest Oktoberfest in the world, only behind the original in Munich, Germany is expected to draw a half million people.

Spokesman Chris Kemper says this year for the first time there will be a live Glockenspiel or clock tower at the East end of the event, with celebrities and dancers coming out every hour to ring the bell and mark each hour of the event.