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Savannah’s Oktoberfest back with Wiener Dog Races, food, beer and fun

  • The annual Wiener Dog Races are at 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at River Street’s Morrell Park. (Photo courtesy Savannah Waterfront Association)
  • The Oktoberfest keg barrel races are at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 on River Street. (Photo courtesy Savannah Waterfront Association)
  • The annual Wiener Dog Races are at 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at River Street’s Morrell Park. (Photo courtesy Savannah Waterfront Association)
  • The Oktoberfest stein races are at 5 p.m. Oct. 7 on River Street. (Photo courtesy Savannah Waterfront Association)
 

Savannah’s Oktoberfest back with Wiener Dog Races, food, beer and fun

03 Oct 2017

Savannah’s Oktoberfest celebrates German heritage with food, beer, live music and of course, the popular Wiener Dog Races.

Victoria Smith, executive director of the Savannah Waterfront Association, said historic River Street is the jewel in Savannah’s crown. The organization hosts events year-round along the river, including the annual Oktoberfest, set for Oct. 6-8.

“This year marks the 34th annual celebration of Oktoberfest in Savannah, and the 40th anniversary of the Wiener Dog Races,” she said. “People love to come down to River Street to enjoy German cuisine and beers, watch the wiener dogs run the track in Morrell Park.”

In addition to the dog races, there will also be keg barrel and stein races, live music with sing-alongs and arts and crafts vendors.

The festivities kick off at 4 p.m. Oct. 6 with the tapping of the first keg, followed by keg barrel races at 6 p.m. The stein races take place at 5 p.m. Oct. 7.

The Wiener Dog Races will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 7 on River Street’s Morrell Park. The association is partnering with the ASPCA for the races and hosting a dog food drive and live adoption during the event.

“We will have heats for ‘purebred’ and ‘almost a wiener dog’ during the races,” Smith said. “There will be contests for best dressed dog and owner/wiener dog look-alikes.”

Oktoberfest food options include German sausages, sauerkraut, potato salad and more.

“Local River Street area favorites Wet Willie’s and the Bayou Café will be joined by German establishments such as The Schnitzel Shack, Bratplatz, Edelweiss Concessions … There will also be a variety of German-inspired sweet dishes offered by Chocolat by Adam Turoni, Cheesecake Market, Rumtastic and Sweet Tooth,” Smith said.

The association has also added a slew of new entertainment and VIP activities. Collin Moulton of Tybee Post Theater's Barefoot Comedy Club will offer some laughs. Musical acts include 2016's Georgia Music Awards Country Male Artist of the Year Lance Stinson, up-and-coming Statesboro musician Chyann Rose and more.

“We will have a VIP tent on Rousakis Plaza where people can enjoy German beer and cuisine tastings, listen to beer and food talks, purchase cocktails mixed with Ghost Coast Distillery [spirits], sit back and enjoy some football or live music from the shade,” Smith said.

She added that while a variety of German beers will be for sale, the fun is not restricted to adults only.

With the addition of the new Waterfront Kidz Zone, there will be a pumpkin painting area, cornhole and football toss, among other games and activities.

“We’ll have representatives from the Humane Society for Greater Savannah attending the Wiener Dog Races in Morrell Park and coordinating pet adoptions for festival patrons. We’re asking everyone to donate a can of pet food when they come down to watch the race,” Smith said. “SWA is equally fortunate to also be working with the March of Dimes this Oktoberfest. We hope lots of kids can help stamp out prematurity by visiting the Waterfront Kidz Zone and participating in our pumpkin painting classes.” Souvenir pumpkins are $10, with proceeds benefiting the Savannah Chapter of the March of Dimes.
 
IF YOU GO

What: Oktoberfest

When: 4-11 p.m. Oct. 6; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 7-8

Where: River Street, Rousakis Plaza

Cost: Free admission; costs vary for activities; VIP Experience is $10 each day

Info: riverstreetsavannah.com

What: Wiener Dog Races

When: 11 a.m. Oct. 7

Where: River Street’s Morrell Park

Cost: Free to watch; $25 to enter, include T-shirt

Info: info@riverstreetsavannah.com or 912-234-0295

MUSIC SCHEDULE

Oct. 6, Rousakis Plaza Stage

7:30-11 p.m.: Emerald Empire Band

Oct. 7, Morrell Park Stage

2-5 p.m.: Bucky & Barry

5:30-7 p.m.: The Rosies

Oct. 7, Rousakis Plaza Stage

5:45-7:15 p.m.: Chyann Rose

7:30-11 p.m.: Lance Stinson

Oct.8, Rousakis Plaza Stage

12:30-2 p.m.: Owen Plant

2:30-4 p.m.: Keith & Ross

4:30-6:30 p.m.: Junkyard Angel

7-9 p.m.: Monkey Man

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