Kara Sewell: Burgermeister Tales - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Kara Sewell: Burgermeister Tales

Prost! I’ve been walking around the house this weekend chanting a few of the new German words I learned at Germania Society’s Oktoberfest.

I blogged last month that I am this year’s honorary Burgermeisterin; and if you’re wondering what that all entails let me explain in a nutshell: I tap the keg, pose for plenty of pictures and eat a lot of food!

I arrived at Germania Park to a stein of beer and a parade (talk about a welcome!) The parade leads to the opening ceremonies which includes the much anticipated keg tapping followed by a lot of beer drinking, dancing and music.

Tapping the Oktoberfest beer is quite the honor and I was nervous it would take half a dozen hits with the mallet to tap that keg but fortunately I managed it in three - still two more than I would have liked but at least it wasn’t twelve!

Apparently, a few years ago it took one Burgermeister (who will remain anonymous) took twelve hits to tap the keg and his shame is still shared often.

My husband and I enjoyed beer, German wine, chicken, pastries, pretzels, you get the idea – we ate a lot!

My new friends at Germania Society treated us like German royalty with our own VIP table.

We played games (who can hold the stein up the longest) rode the Ferris wheel and watched rat roulette. I bet I got a few eyebrow raises from that last mention! Yes, a rat is placed on a spinning table and people bet which colored hole it’s going to crawl down. It’s more humane than it sounds and I’m not just writing that to stave off PETA; who coincidentally protested rat roulette a few years ago. The rat gets food and a break but it’s the most random thing I’ve ever seen and the crowd loves it. Apparently, rat roulette makes an appearance every year at Oktoberfest and players bet with quarters so it’s affordable. Did I just write that?

Anyway, we finished the night up with dancing before a hug goodbye. Folks with the Germania Society welcomed me like a friend and daughter.

I cannot say enough nice things about these people; the culture is passionate, proud and extremely fun. I look forward to passing the mallet at next year’s Oktoberfest and I can only hope the 2016 Burgermeister appreciates German heritage as much as I did. Prost!

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