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Oktoberfest to celebrate 25 years this weekend

  The Frankenmuth Oktoberfest has evolved quite a bit over the past 25 years, from three changes of venue to hosting a parade on Main Street to its actual ownership.

  The quality of the German food, drink and entertainment has not changed.

  The 25th annual fest will take place Thursday through Sunday, September 18-21, in Heritage Park’s Harvey Kern Community Pavilion.

  Fest promoter Mark Janson, who took over the Oktoberfest in 2001, and his volunteers are making last-minute preparations for the fest. The four-day forecast also looks good, with temperatures in the upper 60s during the day and only a slight chance of rain at night.

  Adult admission is $10 per person, Thursday through Saturday and Sunday admission is free. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

  The pavilion hours are 3-10pm on Thursday, with Mollie B and Squeezebox kicking off the festival at 3pm. Squeezebox will rotate with Alex Meixner, a world-traveling, high-energy accordion player.

  A 15-minute opening ceremony will take place beginning at 7pm. Frankenmuth resident and Republican state senate candidate Ken Horn and Frankenmuth Mayor Gary Rupprecht will tap the official first keg of Hofbrau beer.

  Friday’s hours of operation are noon until midnight, with an hour of opening music playing until 1pm.

  Squeezebox and Meixner return to the festive, harvest-decorated stage and will be joined by Tommy Schober and the Sound of Sorgenbrecher and the Schuhplattler with their German brand of dance and music.

  Saturday is also noon to midnight with Fred Ziwich, Detroit’s Enzion and the Schuhplattler rotating 2:15-5:45pm. At 5:45pm, the Sounds of Sorgenbrecher join in the mix.

  Saturday opens with the Weiner Dog Races inside the pavilion, noon until 2:15pm.

  In addition to the races, which will feature over 100 dachshunds, there will be awards for the Best Dressed Wiener, Smallest Wiener, Fattest Wiener, King and Queen of Wieners, the Crown Trophy will go to the best Male and Female and a new category, the best dressed wiener depicting the Oktoberfest (traditional German attire).

  Sunday’s hours are noon until 6pm with Fred Ziwich and Enzion rotating every 45 minutes.

  The Oktoberfest features one of the best menus of all the Frankenmuth festivals, including the German Dinner Buffet for $12 per person. The menu includes Black Forest ham and au gratin, bratwurst with kraut, weisswurst with spicy mustard sauce, jaeger meatballs, German potato salad buttered spatzle, green bean casserole, sweet & sour cabbage, cole slaw, marinated beet salad, macaroni salad, red skin potato salad, bread rolls with butter, apple & raisin salad, German chocolate cake and pineapple upside down cake.

  Other items available include bratwurst (with or without kraut), German hors d’oeuvre sampler, bean soup, chili, sauerkraut balls, cheeseburgers, frankfurters, French fries, chicken tenders, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos & cheese, large dill pickles, pizza, cheese bread, homemade potato chips, landjaegers, Bavarian Inn pretzels, vegetables & dip, funnel cakes, popcorn, candy and more.

  Outside the pavilion, inflatable games will be set up for the children.

  For more information, visit


(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News