Annual 'Running of the Wieners' previews Oktoberfest

ZINZINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is this weekend, and several events on Friday are getting everyone in the spirit.

The 6th Annual John Morrell Running of the Wieners: Sammy, a two-year old dachshund, beat 100 other dachshunds to be crowned the winning wiener at the sixth-annual John Morrell Running of the Wieners. He ran the 75-foot race in 3.97 seconds.

Sammy, from Anderson Township, Oh., receives a prize pack from Fortunate Dog Spa in Maineville, a gold chicken hat and a case of Samuel Adams Octoberfest Beer (for the owner, of course).

This is the first time Sammy has participated in the event, said owner A.J. Shellabarger.

For the race, the dachshunds, the official mascot of Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, are provided competition "race gear" hot dog bun costumes and race across Fountain Square to waiting owners. The winner of each of the 10 heats advanced to the finals to set up Sammy's victorious race. Freddie finished second and Buster finished third in a photo finish.

Gemuetlichkeit (ga-mute-li-kite) Games: After the Running of the Wieners, an Oktoberfest staple, beer, took center stage during the Gemuetlichkeit Games. From the German word for "goodwill," contestants dusted off their lederhosen and compete in:

  • Beer Stein Races, in which contestants race across Fountain Square with fists full of filled beer steins to see not only who is the fastest, but who can spill the least.
  • Barrel Rolling Contest, in which contestants race to roll a traditional wooden beer barrel across Fountain Square.

Oktoberfest Sneak Peak: At Fountain Square from noon to midnight. It will include German beer, food and music from the Klaberheads starting at 5pm for those who need an Oktoberfest tailgate. Those at Fountain Square will also have a front-row seat as Fifth St. shuts down at 6 p.m. to transform into the nation's largest Bavarian buffet.

Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati USA is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the country and the second largest in the world. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23 along six blocks of Fifth Street in Downtown Zinzinnati.Hours are noon to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. 10 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

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