New Addition To One Town's Oktoberfest... Beer! - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Addition To One Town's Oktoberfest... Beer!

Photo courtesy MSNBC Photo courtesy MSNBC

MSNBC.COM - With German roots and Bible Belt values, the north Alabama town of Cullman marked Oktoberfest for decades with oompah music, lederhosen and bratwurst, but no beer. Now the party long billed as the world's only dry Oktoberfest is finally going wet.

Organizers tapped a keg for the first time Monday at Cullman's Oktoberfest, ending an autumn prohibition in a town of 14,000 that had banned alcohol sales outright until church leaders lost that fight last fall.

Hundreds of people sipped beer and cheered at a stein-hoisting contest Monday night. A blocked-off downtown street was full of people enjoying $4 drafts; a few men wore traditional German pants and socks; couples washed down bratwurst and spicy pretzels with brew.

In a compromise aimed partly at helping ease the concerns of townspeople who worried about adding booze to the party, there was still an alcohol-free side to the celebration located about 50 yards away under a big, open shed. There, children did "The Chicken Dance" and cans of Pepsi sat on mostly empty tables; the crowd on the dry side was less than half as large as the crowd on the wet side.

The chairman of the Oktoberfest committee, Ernest Hauk, expects the entire event to only get bigger now that there's a biergarten.

"I think once people get over being worried about who's going to see them drinking ... it will just grow and grow," said Hauk. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MSNBC

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