(09/19/13) - It's arguably the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S., and the world's only officially sanctioned one outside of the real deal in Munich, Germany.
"It's going to be a blast. It's going to be a big party. If you can't make it to Munich, make it to Frankenmuth," said Andreas Schwarzkopf, Oktoberfest committee member and Munich native.
Frankenmuth's twenty-fourth annual Oktoberfest runs through Sunday, and more than more than 15,000 people are expected to pack Kern Pavilion.
"We've got great entertainment, food, and you can come down. If you don't have lederhosen, we can get you set up with some," said Mark Jansen, Oktoberfest committee member.
Among the feature attractions - polka, wiener dog races, and tons of live music, headlined by a Grammy-nominated artist.
"Alex Meixner. He's a great guy. He plays German, he plays Polish. He can play anything. He plays Bon Jovi if you want him to," Schwarzkopf said.
Oktoberfest dates back to the year 1810, and as for why it's held in September, Schwarzkopf says it's rather simple.
"They moved it up to September simply because of the weather conditions. The nights are warmer in September than they would be in October," he said.
While Oktoberfest celebrates all things German, there's one thing in particular that rises to the top of the list - beer, and lots of it.
"In Germany, we joke about it. We like the beer. We consider beer as one of the basic food groups," Schwarzkopf said.
The first keg of Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest will be cracked at 7 p.m. Thursday.
For a schedule of events, click HERE.
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