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It's Oktoberfest season

The official start of fall was Wednesday, so it's time for that other autumnal tradition, Oktoberfest.

For the 15th year, the German American Friendship Society of Pinellas County will put on a two-weekend celebration. The fun begins from 4 to 10:30 p.m. today and Saturday and continues at the same time Oct. 1-2. Entertainment includes the Bavarian Oskar Band, Cathy and the Lorelei Band, the Alpen Diamantan Band and Fritzi's One-Man Circus, above.

Expect to find homemade German food, contests and plenty of beer in the tents outside the society's hall, 8098 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. Admission is $6, $4 members. (727) 541-6782.

Also this weekend and next: Oktoberfest Suncoast in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The Bavarian folk festival includes music and dance, the Zamperla Circus and Human Cannonball, stein-holding and keg-hurling contests, antique Volkswagens, German food, beer and wine, crafts and kids activities.

It runs from noon to 10 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. The festival moves to the Sarasota Fairgrounds Oct. 1-3. Admission is $6 per day or $10 for the weekend at both venues. Those younger than 12 are admitted free. (941) 722-1639 or www.oktoberfestsuncoast.com.

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