by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – The excitement all across Loveland is building as the Downtown area prepares for the first Oktoberfest brought to you by The Little Miami River Chamber Alliance, Warsteiner, CancerFree Kids, and many more!

On Friday, September 24th from 4 PM-10 PM, and Saturday, September 25th from 4 PM-11 PM, Downtown Loveland will become “Liebesland” (Loveland in German) for Oktoberfest 2021. The festival will include a plethora of traditional German activities, competitions, food, drinks, and of course some spectacular German attire!

Warsteiner, an international German beer company that came to conception in Warstein, Germany in 1753 when Antonius Cramer was asked to pay beer tax after his home brewing volumes passed the amount allowed for personal use, will be hosting a Biergarten (beer garden in German) Emporium in Nisbet Park. Traditionally a Biergarten is an open-air space where beer and food are served. This concept dates back to the 19th century in Bavaria in which breweries planted gardens above cellars to keep their lagers cool enough to ferment underground.

The Warsteiner Biergarten will be serving up their finest beer from the Premium Pilsner, “A refreshing, pale golden pilsener with a clean taste perfectly balanced with hints of barley malt, subtle bottom fermenting yeast tones and mild hoppy bitterness,” to the Premium Dunkel, “a rich dark amber beer with full-flavored, smooth taste nicely accented with satisfying notes of roasted malt and subtle bottom-fermenting yeast tones,” to the Oktoberfest Special Edition, “a well-balanced, mild, and smooth taste with a uniquely soft, hoppy aftertaste and 5.9% alcohol.”

Beer Tickets will be sold at the Warsteiner Emporium in the Biergarten and can be used to purchase Warsteiner premium beer at the Emporium, The Works Pizza, Ramsey’s Trailside, or Bishop’s Quarter where they will be selling Warsteiner’s Oktoberfest. Domestic beer tickets will be $5 and Craft beer tickets will be $6. When purchasing a beer ticket you will have the option to buy an authentic 14 ounce Loveland Oktoberfest keepsake Mug for $8 in which you will be able to get refilled with Warsteiner beer only for $5.

All of the tips collected from the Biergarten will benefit CancerFree Kids.

Of course, what goes better with beer than traditional German food! The majority of Loveland’s Downtown restaurants will be adding a few German-inspired food options in celebration of Oktoberfest. The Works Pizza will be featuring Potato Pancakes, Ramsey’s Trailside will have a Specialty Pretzel, Trailside Provisions will be serving Cream Puffs and Frozen Chocolate Bananas on Saturday only, All the Ingredients will have Sauerkraut Balls, Bratwursts, and Herb Potato Skewers, Loveland Sweets will be carrying Black Forest Ice Cream, Tano Bistro will have Schweinbraten (German Pulled Pork) and Apple Strudel, The Wicked Pickle will be serving up German Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and Bishop’s Quarter will have German Pancakes with Sour Cream.

In addition to Loveland’s local restaurants carrying specialty German food items, new local business Dolph’s Dogs will also be there to satisfy anyone’s sausage, bratwurst, or hotdog cravings! Kona Ice and Right Stuff Grill will also be present at the Oktoberfest festivities. Food vendors will be set up in the Biergarten near Nisbet Park.

Want to learn more about traditional German food? Read this CNN Travel article that I found that talks all about German cuisine!

The Landing Event Center will be holding an Oktoberfest event on Friday that will benefit The League for Animal Welfare. This special benefit will include beer tastings, an authentic German appetizer buffet, and live music. The event is free and open to the public.

The Jackson Street Market will have arts and crafts throughout the Oktoberfest celebration as well.

The Little Miami Chamber Alliance (LMRCA) has been hard at work for several months planning Loveland’s first Oktoberfest and truly can’t wait to see how all the German activities and competitions play out!

One of the most exciting and competitive German traditions will be The Stein Hoist competition a.k.a The Masskrugen Challenge, which will begin on Friday at 6:30 PM. The Winners Ceremony will be held on Saturday at 6 PM. The competition will include 6 contestants from each local restaurant participating. The Works Pizza, Ramsey’s Trailside, Cappy’s, Bishop’s Quarter, Cindy’s, Paxton’s Grill, The Landing Event Center and The Wicked Pickle will all be competing for the win! The Masskrugen finals will be emceed by Channel 5’s Randi Rico.

Stein Hoisting is a traditional Bavarian strength contest in which participants hold a full one-liter beer stein (weighs 5.5 pounds typically) in front of their bodies with a straight arm, parallel to the ground. The person that can hold the pose the longest wins.

Stop by the Loveland beer booth on Friday and the Biergarten on Saturday to say hi to the Christy Jones Team and hoist a stein!

The Lederhosen competition (German costume contest) will begin on Friday at Bishop’s Quarter. The winner will be selected at 7:30 PM. Lederhosen’s are leather shorts with H-shaped suspenders that men in the working class from Alpine regions such as Bavaria wore. They wore these while they were working because the leather material made the dust and dirt collected from work easier to clean off. Lederhosen’s also have cultural and social meaning for those within the German culture.

There is in fact a female version of the Lederhosen called a “Dirndl,” which is a dress that can fall either to the knees or the floor. The dress includes a tight bodice that is meant to compliment a woman’s chest.

On Friday, at 5 PM at Oktoberfest Cappy’s and the Main Stage (located in Nisbet Park) will host a Stein Slide competition, in which you can buy tickets to compete for $2. Live entertainment will kick-off from the Kyle Hackett Duo at 6 PM at Cappy’s followed by the Counting Skeletons at 7 PM at the Main Stage.

On Saturday, Oktoberfest entertainment will kick off at 4 PM with Premier Dance and Tumbling, and shortly afterward Nisbet Park will hold the Wiener Dog Race at 4:30 PM (near the Little Miami Conservancy). The winning Wiener Dog will receive a gift card from Tara’s Pet Boutique! At 5:30 PM, live entertainment will continue with the Cloggers.

Of course, we can’t forget about one of the most coveted German Oktoberfest traditions, the tapping of the Keg! The tapping of the Keg is one of the oldest traditions in Germany’s Oktoberfest celebrations. The Keg tap is typically done by the Mayor of Munich, which in Loveland’s case will be Mayor Kathy Bailey. The goal of the Keg tapping is for the Mayor to hit the Keg with a hammer the least amount of times possible before yelling “O’zapft is” (keg breached). Once the Mayor yells “O’zapft is” surrounding vendors may officially sell their beer!

Before the Keg tapping in Germany, there is a “procession” held in which colorful horse carriages and wagons covered with flowers march down to where the Oktoberfest celebration is being held. The procession is traditionally led by the Münchner Kindl (coat of arms of Munich) and is followed by the Mayor’s festival carriage. Behind the Mayor are carts of the landlords and breweries as well as the waitresses who will be serving beer who are typically holding beer mugs in the procession. This part of Loveland’s Oktoberfest will include Mayor Kathy Bailey and the LMRCA Board of Directors President Doug Portmann. The Keg procession will begin at 5:30 PM on Saturday and the Keg tapping will begin shortly afterward. The procession will start at Paxton’s Grill, go down Railroad Ave., and will end at the Main Stage located in Nisbet Park.

On Saturday from 6-10 PM, the Zinzinnati Bierband will perform and at 6 PM the Masskrugen Winning Ceremony will begin on the Main Stage.

There have been quite a few new additions to Loveland’s Oktoberfest! Cincy Shirts will have a booth set-up near the Biergarten for those who PRE-ORDERED their exclusive Loveland Oktoberfest T-shirt. The Loveland Oktoberfest T-shirts are $20. To pre-order your 2021 Loveland Oktoberfest shirt click here.

New local business Epic Picnics will have a beautiful German-themed picnic “photo booth” set up in Nisbet Park on Friday with Oktoberfest props and food that those attending the festival will have the opportunity to get a Loveland Oktoberfest photo taken.

It is never too late to become a sponsor for Loveland’s first Oktoberfest! If you or your business would like to become a sponsor contact the LMRCA through email or you can call their office at 513-683-1544.

LMRCA is also in need of volunteers to help with all of the exciting festivities! If you would like to sign up to volunteer for Oktoberfest click here to see what opportunities are available. You may also email LMRCA or call the office at 513-683-1544 to reach out about volunteering.

For more Loveland Oktoberfest 2021 updates stay tuned to the Loveland Salad With ME, Cassie Mattia!

Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Co-Owner, Associate Editor, and Director of Marketing of Loveland Magazine. Contact Cassie if you are interested in promoting your event or business in Loveland Magazine. Cassie also Emcee’s events so feel free to reach out if you are in need of an Emcee for your next event, fundraiser, or sports-related competition.

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Cassie Mattia is a Co-Owner of Loveland Magazine. She is the Associate Editor and Director of Marketing.

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