Prost, Y’all: Plant Riverside District rolls out the barrel for Oktoberfest

Get ready to bring out the Lederhosen and Dirndl Dresses! Fall is here, bringing with it the second annual Plant Riverside District Oktoberfest, which will take place each Saturday through Oct., 29. 

All of the activities and festivities are free and open to the public. Enjoy a bit of new and old Germany, Savannah style.

“Oktoberfest originated in 1810, as part of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who was later known as King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All Munich citizens were invited to join in the festivities, the celebration must have been one heck of a party, because they decided each year afterward to celebrate to commemorate the marriage, which eventually became known as Oktoberfest, over 200 plus years ago,” said Scotty Henley, Entertainment Director of Plant Riverside District.

Richard C. Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection, said he has a special connection with Oktoberfest, his family heritage can be traced back to the earliest Salzburger settlers in Georgia in the 18th century.

Every Saturday from 1-4 p.m., the Pavilion Tent along the riverfront at Plant Riverside District will feature free live polka music by Bob and the Polka Dots, free keg bowling, bratwurst eating contests, and stein holding competitions

Throughout the Oktoberfest event dates, the restaurants at Plant Riverside District will serve specialty beers as well as food and beverage options for all ages. Each restaurant will have its own German specials and cuisine, depending on the restaurant.

“German cuisine is quite easy. It’s bratwurst and sauerkraut. So there wasn’t any heavy research in that area. Now as far as the Bavarian beers that are offered, I couldn’t tell you each one individually, but I do know that we have a gentleman on staff who handles all of our alcohol purchases. He has a much broader understanding of what there’s out there. So he went to our suppliers and picked what would be considered a standard,” said Henley.

Festivities will be located on Savannah’s riverfront at 400 W. River St., in the Plant Riverside District where a pavilion tent will be set up for live music and festive German-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., and then at 3:30 p.m. the stein holding competition is held. 

Instead of the typical German keg toss, keg bowling was decided to be a safer, family-friendly event.

“Six kegs will be backed up, as if it was in a pyramid formation, and then it’s probably about 15 feet of distance between the person and that stack, their first round is the opportunity to underhand throw, I didn’t see anybody this past time trying to get it over their head, which I’m thankful for. You just throw it out, and if you can knock them all down, you get into the second round. The second round has them laid out, as if it was duckpin bowling, so they’re not stacked. Now, it’s time to see if you get all of them down there and whoever gets the most down within the second round, is the winner,” explained Henley.

Throughout the month, the Oktoberfest events will stay pretty consistent, only minor changes will be made in regards to the order in which the event will take place. 

Additionally, The Rhinelanders German Band, a four-piece group will be performing some at the Pavilion tent during Oktoberfest, in addition to Bob and the Polka Dots.

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