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Cheers to Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay

The original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is a 16-day beer celebration that runs from late September to the first weekend in October. Likewise around the Tampa Bay area, Oktoberfest celebrations are getting under way this week and next to put some oomph into the oom-pah-pah.

Celebrate Oktoberfest: One of the biggest parties is put on by the German American Society of Pinellas, where they are celebrating the 203rd anniversary of Oktoberfest with food, beer and bands under a big tent. Festival highlights include a parade, a keg-tapping ceremony and German folk dancers. German American Society of Pinellas County, 8098 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. $6, children 12 and under free. (813) 625-1274. 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Also Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12.

Oktobeerfest Dunedin Brewery 5K and One-Mile: Dunedin Brewery kicks off their week long Oktobeerfest activities with these 5K and 1-mile timed runs. Registrants receive a race T-shirt, novelty finishers mug and entry to the Dunedin Brewery's post-race party with free beer, German food and live music. Benefits the Dunedin Dog Rescue. $40 5K, $20 one-mile. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 736-0606. 5 p.m. Saturday.

Oktoberfest Literstein Heritage Night: Litersteins, the traditional 1-liter glass beer mugs, are required at the release party for this year's OktoBEERfest Lager. Bring your own or buy one full of beer at the door for $35, refills $6. Music by Vagabond Swing and Big Daddy Love beginning at 8 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free admission. (727) 736-0606. 7 p.m. Oct. 3.

Stein Hoisting Contest: This contest will see who can hold a straight-arm out with a full stein of beer the longest. Winners take home their steins and a Samuel Adams sweat shirt. Arrive early to register. Smokey Bones BBQ & Grill, 2693 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Free. (727) 712-1930. 8-10 p.m. Wednesday.

Coming up

Oktoberfest First Friday Street Party: The party kicks off at 5 p.m. with Dunedin Brewery serving up seasonal beers and music by DJ 45Revolver, the Fritz and Fusik. 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free admission. (727) 736-0606. 5 p.m. Oct. 4.

Rocktoberfest: This Oktoberfest-themed music event features games, food, beer and wine, vendors, a silent auction and music by Cristi Vale and Sequel, Comfort Zonethe Teran Brothers Tribute to the Beatles and more. Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N, Seminole. Free. (727) 423-9825. 3-9 p.m. Oct. 5.

Ybor Oktoberfest Pub Crawl: This crawl begins in the Centro Ybor courtyard where you pick up your T-shirt and map of participating pubs. Crawlers get a free sample of Oktoberfest or premium beer at each stop. Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 241-8838. 4-8 p.m. Oct. 5.

Oktoberfest Tampa: Tampa's waterfront park is transformed into a giant beer garden featuring traditional German dancing, alphorn performances and keg tappings. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $10, $25-$65 VIP, $100 three days; active/retired military free with ID. (813) 397-8722. Oct. 11-13.

Oktoberfest Beach Crawl: Visit nine area bars for food and drinks. The first 200 crawlers to make a donation to the Suncoast Animal League get a Beach Crawl can koozie. The Undertow, 3850 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Free. (813) 760-5824. 5 p.m. Oct. 12.

Oktoberfest: Gulfport's large family fall festival with entertainment, bingo, games, face painting, midway rides, food and drink. Most Holy Name of Jesus Church Maria Center, 5800 15th Ave. S, Gulfport. Free (food and rides additional). (727) 347-9989. Oct. 17-20.

Oktoberfest and Family Fall Festival: With midway rides, games, food, an oversized flea market, Oktoberfest tent. Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, 750 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin. (727) 733-3776. Oct. 17-20.

Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Oktoberfest: One of the bay area's larger Oktoberfest celebrations has a giant tent with music, German-style food, a carnival and games including stein holding, log sawing, barrel rolling and keg tossing. Tampa Bay Downs, 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. (813) 855-4233. Oct. 18-20.

Boktoberfest: This annual celebration combines the kickoff of fall planting season with a traditional Oktoberfest-style festival. Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales. Free. (863) 676-1408. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 19.

Dunedin Dogtoberfest: Bring your pooch to the annual dog-themed Oktoberfest, with a doggie costume contest, blessing of the animals, crowning of the festival king and queen, the "Running of the Wieners" and the "My Pet's Got Talent" competition. Also on site will be rescue groups with adoptable dogs, pet-themed vendors, a beer garden and food and beverages. Benefits animals at the Suncoast Animal League. Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin. Free; $4 parking. (727) 786-1330. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 9.

Cheers to Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay 09/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:43pm]
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