Hoist a stein for Parker Oktoberfest this weekend

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With added space and a fresh lineup of entertaining competitions, the 2013 Parker Oktoberfest could be the biggest yet.

The Parker Arts Council, in its eighth year of running the festival, expanded its footprint by 50 percent, allowing for more vendors and an interactive stage for two days of fun at O’Brien Park Sept. 14-15. The festivities kick off with “the shortest parade in Parker” starting at 11 a.m. at the entrance of O’Brien Park, to a tent where Parker Mayor Mike Waid will tap the first ceremonial keg.

Susan Quarles, the council’s director of communications, said 8,000 to 10,000 people are expected to come to downtown Parker for beer, traditional German music and Bavarian dancing. New to the list of activities is a stein-hoisting competition, which will have contestants holding full beer steins with their arms out straight. The last person with their arms still stretched out wins, and there will be competitions for both adults and children.

The organizers are careful to be respectful of the beer, a staple of German culture and the main feature of the real annual Oktoberfest in Munich.

“They’ll have water in them, because no one wants to waste precious beer,” Quarles said.

Also scheduled at the interactive stage — in the middle of the 90 or so vendors — are contests for pie eating, keg rolling, bubblegum blowing, pretzel eating, yodeling and hot dog eating. Brave and willing participants are asked to sign up at the information booth near the entrance to the O’Brien Park parking lot.

Before the 2013 Parker Oktoberfest begins, groups will set out on a 5K and 10K Volksmarch — a tradition in Germany that means “people’s march” — before they arrive for the mini parade. Then, the drinking will commence, with the dance area in front of the main stage slowly filling as the hours (and inhibitions) pass. Three types of Paulaner beer will be served: Oktoberfest, Hefewiezen and Pilsner. Wine will also be available for purchase.

Parker Oktoberfest runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 14 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15. For more information, go to www.parkeroktoberfest.com.

Interactive Stage schedule

  • Sept. 14

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Volksmarch around Parker      

11 a.m. — Stein hoisting begins at Z Ultimate Fitness Booth

11 a.m. — Registration for keg rolling and registration for all eating contests 

Noon — Bratwurst eating competition

12:30 p.m. — Pie eating competition/kids division

1 p.m. — Keg rolling

1:30 p.m. — Bubblegum blowing competition

2 p.m. — Stein hoisting semifinals

2:30 p.m. — Yodeling competition

3 p.m. — Pie eating competition/ en-women

3:30 p.m. — Soda stands/stein hoisting kids finals

4 p.m. — Pretzel eating competition/men-women

5 p.m. — Hot dog eating competition

5:30 — Stein hoisting men-women finals

• Sept. 15

11 a.m. — Stein hoisting begins at Z Ultimate Fitness Booth

11 a.m. — Registration for keg carrying and all eating contests

Noon — Bratwurst eating competition

12:30 p.m. — Pie eating competition/kids division

1 p.m. — Keg carrying/rolling

1:30 p.m. — Bubblegum blowing competition

2 p.m. — Stein hoisting semifinals

2:30 p.m. — Yodeling competition

3 p.m. — Pie eating competition/men-women

3:30 p.m. — Stein hoisting kids finals

4 p.m. — Pretzel eating competition/men-women

5 p.m. — Hot dog eating competition men/women

5:30 p.m. — Stein hoisting men-women finals

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