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Published: Thursday, 8/22/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

German-American Festival on tap in Oregon this weekend

Dawn Krupinsky, left, and her husband Walter, right, from St. Clair Shores, Michigan dance a polka during the German-American Festival in 2011. Dawn Krupinsky, left, and her husband Walter, right, from St. Clair Shores, Michigan dance a polka during the German-American Festival in 2011.
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Go hungry, go thirsty, and perhaps take a nap earlier in the day because the German-American Festival in Oregon is always an exercise in eating, drinking, and competing.

This year’s 48th version Friday through Sunday at Oak Shade in Oregon is no different.

First, the food. Expect sauerkraut, schnitzel sandwiches, ice cream, cream puffs, gingerbread hearts, imported meats and cheeses, potato salads, bratwursts, chicken dinners, and a lot more.

Next the drinks. How about 45 different beers with many of them from Germany? In addition, six different types of wine will be available, along with a number of cocktails and plenty of the non-alcoholic variety.

RELATED: Updated GAF shuttle schedule

If you’re 21 and older but don’t plan to drink alcohol, the festival offers a designated driver program. For $3 the person receives three coupons for a 20 ounce soft drink at any of the soft drink booths on the grounds.

Now, the competition.

There will be a Brezlessen, also known as a pretzel-eating contest, at 9 p.m. Saturday. Big eaters also can determine who can eat eight ounces of Swiss cheese the fastest Saturday at 7 p.m.

Strong men and women can test their strength by seeing how long they can lift and hold a 1-liter stein filled with beer parallel to the ground. This will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. On Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. each day big girls and boys can see how far they can throw stones that weigh 138 pounds and 75 pounds.

Zach Diekman of Martin, Ohio, competes in the Steinstossen. Zach Diekman of Martin, Ohio, competes in the Steinstossen.
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The always popular (and a little strange) Hummel Look-Alike contest will be Sunday afternoon. Children ages 2-10 are welcome to dress up as their favorite Hummel characters. Pre-registration is required.

The designated children’s area will include face painting and appearances by Jimity the Clown, who will be wandering the grounds on Saturday and Sunday.

The festival also will feature amusement park rides. Organizers expect more than 35,000 people at this year’s event.

Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., has more than 70 acres of free, lighted parking accessible from Seaman, Starr Avenue, or Corduroy Road. Handicapped parking is available from Seaman.

Parking also is available at Starr Elementary School, Fassett Junior High School, and Clay High School with free shuttle service.

Shuttle service also is available for $6 at Toledo-area locations.

Departure points include Bar 145, 5305 Monroe St.; Berger’s Olde Tyme, 1742 W. Laskey Rd.; Mayfly Tavern, 4532 N. Summit St.; Anchor Inn, 4950 Suder Ave.; the Attic on Adams, 1701 Adams St., and Icons Eatery and Entertainment, 3150 Navarre Ave.

The festival starts at 6 p.m. Friday, with a parade and opening ceremony at 8 p.m. Saturday’s hours are 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday’s are noon to 11 p.m.

General admission is $7, with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. 

Advance tickets can be purchased for $6 at germanamericanfestival.net or gafsociety.org.

On Sunday, active military, police, fire, and EMS personnel will be admitted free with proof of employment, and senior citizens with a Golden Buckeye Card get a $1 discount.

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