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October 2, 2020
When you think of Germany, Oktoberfest is sure to come to mind. The original Oktoberfest was a celebration of Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese in 1810. The citizens of Munich, Germany were invited to participate and enjoy.
Oktoberfest in the Amana Colonies has been celebrated since 1965 and while not as old it certainly is just as fun. One of the longest-running festivals in Iowa, it features special events, food, and music all with an authentic German flare.
Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg
The Bavarian-style fun begins with the Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg on Friday in the historical Festhalle! An Oktoberfest tradition begins at 2 p.m. While, the Burgermeister leads the keg procession from the brewery to the Festhalle Barn and Oktoberfest grounds. Upon his arrival, the official first keg of the festival is tapped, and those that formed the parade enjoy a free beer while the first keg is drained. As the beer is flowing, the song Ein Prosit is played. Stick around long enough and learn the words and know them by heart very quickly!
Saturday starts with a Parade at 10 a.m., features creative themed floats from lots of local businesses and groups. Watch and pick out your favorite float!
Children activities such as a pony-go-round and a Kinderplatz station. Also, the Amana Colonies Trails produces The Timber Trek.
Take part in fun and unique games including The Brezel Schmeissen, a game with a partner, catch fabric pretzel on your head wearing a plunger device! Make sure that you don’t cross the line or get hit in the face with a big German “Brezel”.
Even more, games such as the log saw, and keg toss. beer stein holding contest, pretzel tossing, brat eating contest.
Furthermore, get a group of friends together for the Naglehauen; gather around a log, and hammer in the nails. If you are the first one to get your nail all the way into the log, you are the winner!
Also, the Eisenmann. A jack of all trades contest. Come with a partner, complete 4 events; Masskrugstemmen (stein holding), keg toss, balance walk, and log saw. Put all four events together for a true Amana Colonies Oktoberfest champion.
Bands from all over the U.S. perform traditional German music. Even more, this festival is all about the food, and nothing is more German than Amana Bratwurst. Made down the street at the Amana Meat Shop – try one or several.
Finally, visitors and local folks dress up in their traditional German dirndls and lederhosen.