IM to celebrate German-style at Oktoberfest

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may have mostly Finnish and Scandinavian blood in its background, with some Cornish, Italian and French Canadian thrown in the mix.

But come Saturday, it will be time in Iron Mountain to get your German on, embrace gemutlichkeit and shout “ein prosit” as you raise a glass or, even better, a stein.

The Downtown Development Authority will host its annual Oktoberfest celebration from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the city parking lot at East A and Iron Mountain streets.

That means 12 hours of music, food and fun activities for adults and children, all with a German flavor.

And, of course, beer — a dozen varieties on tap, several made in the U.P. — plus this year three types of sweet, German-style white wines, such as riesling and liebfraumilch.

Food vendors will serve such specialties as beer cheddar soup with kielbasa, spaetzel, Bavarian hunter stew and pretzels. Seasonal sweets on hand will include Black Forest cake and pumpkin cream puffs.

A band will play most of the day, to help dance off all that food and beer. After all, polka is good exercise.

Those looking for an even bigger challenge can try driving nails in the traditional German game of Hammerschlagen or seeing how long they can keep a stein of beer level with their shoulders.

New this year will be crowning Miss Oktoberfest, with contestants judged on how they look in a dirndl rather than swimsuit, how well they pronounce German words and if they can identify Oktoberfest beers.

Getting in costs $8, with those 12 and younger admitted free.

So get ready to chant, “Ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy, oi oi!” — even if you have no idea why.

The Iron Mountain DDA will thank you for the support. And you can usher in the fall season Bavarian-style.

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