Get ready to release the Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses! Fall has arrived, bringing with it Plant Riverside District’s second annual Oktoberfest, which will take place every Saturday until October 29th.
All activities and festivities are free and open to the public. Enjoy a bit of new and old Germany, savannah style.
“The Oktoberfest originated in 1810, as part of the marriage of Crown Prince of Bavaria, later known as King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to attend. join in the festivities, the celebration must have been one heck of a party, as they decided to celebrate every year thereafter to commemorate the wedding, which eventually became known as Oktoberfest, over 200 years ago,” said Scotty Henley, director of entertainment for Plant Riverside District.
Richard C. Kessler, president and CEO of the Kessler Collection, said he has a special connection to Oktoberfest, his family heritage dating back to the first Salzburg settlers in Georgia in the 18th century.
Every Saturday from 1-4 p.m., the Pavilion Tent along the river in the Plant Riverside District will feature free live polka music from Bob and the Polka Dots, free bowling, sausage-eating contests and mug-holding contests.
Throughout the Oktoberfest event dates, restaurants in the Plant Riverside District will be serving special beers as well as food and drink for all ages. Each restaurant will have its own German specialties and cuisines, depending on the restaurant.
“German cuisine is quite simple. It’s sausage and sauerkraut. Therefore, there has not been extensive research in this area. Now, in regards to the Bavarian beers that are on offer, I couldn’t tell you each one individually, but I do know that we have a gentleman on staff who takes care of all of our liquor purchases. He has a much broader understanding of what exists. So he went to our suppliers and decided on what would be considered a standard,” Henley said.
The festivities will take place on Savannah’s riverfront at 400 W. River St. in the Plant Riverside neighborhood, where a pavilion tent will be set up for live music and festive Germany-themed competitions.
The events are separated by times, the bratwurst eating contest takes place at 1:30 p.m., keg bowling at 2:30 p.m., then at 3:30 p.m. the mug holding contest takes place.
Instead of the typical German keg throwing, keg bowling was decided as a safer, family-friendly event.
“Six barrels will be backed up, like it’s a pyramid formation, then there’s probably about 15 feet of distance between the person and that pile, their first turn is an opportunity to throw from below, I haven’t seen anyone that spend time trying to get over their heads, which I’m grateful for. You just throw it, and if you can knock them all down, you’re into round two. has laid out like it’s a bowling game so they’re not stacked up. Now it’s time to see if you get them all there and which one gets the most points over the course of the game. second round is the winner,” explained Henley.
Throughout the month, Oktoberfest events will remain fairly consistent, with only minor changes being made to the order in which the event takes place.
Additionally, The Rhinelanders German Band, a four-piece band, will perform in the pavilion tent during Oktoberfest, in addition to Bob and the Polka Dots.
For more information, visit plantriverside.com