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Ottawa Oktoberfest this weekend: Music, games, food and, of course, beer

This weekend the Ottawa First Oktoberfest will be back at the Jordan block in downtown Ottawa with the traditional beer, food and music as well as games both for kids and adults.

It’s the fifth year for the Oktoberfest, which was organized by Ottawa First, the nonprofit group that raises funds for the city’s Independence Day fireworks.

The weather is predicted to be sunny with highs around 90 degrees. Even so, the fest’s tent from last year — a full 40 by 140 foot monster — will be back.

Here are some highlights:

There will be great food
The food vendors will be the Cheese Shop and a team effort from R Grotto and Woody’s Steak House, some of Ottawa’s finest eateries.
The Cheese Shop will repeat its popular menu from last year of bratwurst, knockwurst and frankfurter dinners as well as sandwiches, cheese curds, and, for desserts, German chocolate cake and harvest apple streusel.
R Grotto and Woody’s were still finalizing their menu at press time, but their fare again will be in keeping with the event’s German theme.
There will be great music
There will be six dynamic bands including great local talent and also the 144th Army Band Soldiers of Swing.

The 5K Run/Walk is back
The Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk will be back on Saturday. The race will start at the Jordan block at 5 p.m., with registration starting at 3:30 p.m. The fee is $30. The route will be a flat, out-and-back style course on city streets beginning and ending at the fest grounds.
Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in each age group. Special Awards will be given to both the overall top male and female finishers.  One extra-special award will be given to the best dressed. 

Free Kidz Block activities
Free activities for children Saturday afternoon will include bounce houses, face painting, kids karaoke and treats as well as  arts and crafts projects. Project supplies and treats are donated and in the past have tended to run out, so arrive early.

Adults games Saturday evening
The Barmaid Stein Race: This is a favorite attraction of the games deeply rooted in German tradition. Contestants race holding full beer steins, through an obstacle course. The winner is determined by the best time without spilling.

The Beer Barrel Roll: In this game participants roll an empty barrel around the marked course. It is not as easy as it seems. The contestant with the fastest time wins. Deductions will be made for losing control and mowing down spectators.
These games at the fest grounds are free to enter. Contestants 21 and over can sign up at the registration tent on Saturday. Prizes will be awarded for all games.

The Catholic Mass
This well-attended service will be held in the tent starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. Musical accompaniment will again be provided by the Polka Mass-sters band.

The free breakfast
This popular offering will start after the Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday. The breakfast by Handy Foods will include a slice of breakfast pizza, slice of coffee cake, orange juice and coffee. Also, for those so inclined, a bloody Mary bar again will be in operation.

Oktoberfest discount tickets are on sale
Oktoberfest discount tickets already are on sale at the Ottawa City Hall until noon Friday. 
The early purchase $15 tickets will be good for a commemorative glass beer stein and nine food and beverage coupons. During Oktoberfest, the beer and coupon tickets will be $20.


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