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7th Annual Effingham Oktoberfest to open keg Friday, Saturday
keg tap 2

Put on your dancing shoes, find your thirst for a cold draft and get ready to bring in the Fall with the 7thAnnual Effingham Oktoberfest, which will be held on Friday and Saturday at Freedom Park (by Lowes).


The event is hosted by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce and the festivities will be held from 12-11 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday with fun for the whole family.


Last year, the event was cut short due to inclement weather – that will not be a problem this year.


“After last year’s big rains, the stage is being moved underneath the big tent,” Chamber Director Rick Lott said. “That way, if we get some rain, the bands can still play and the audience can eat and listen while staying dry.”


Along with music, food and drink, children and adults will be able to enjoy numerous other activities and attractions.


The Chamber said that Carlton Sumner will provide tethered hot air balloon rides in the evenings on both Friday and Saturday, weather permitting. The rides are scheduled to begin around 6:30 both nights. There will be a small fee for anyone who wishes to enjoy the view.


Friday evening, the traditional kickoff ceremony will start at 6 on the stage. An annual Effingham Tourism award will be given to a worthy recipient, the Salzburgers will be recognized and then the ceremonial ‘tapping of the keg’ will be done by Joe Weitzel, owner of the Schnitzel Shack.


Following a toast to get the party started, a ‘best whiskers contest’ will be held and the winners will be awarded cash prizes.


The annual Oktoberfest Battle of the Bands will follow with bands “Two to Fly, “The Shockwave” and “Mixed Groove” vying for the title and a $500 cash prize. The winning band will open for Saturday night’s headliner, Josh Sanders, coming down with his band from Nashville.


A Military Display area will be on hand with some military hardware and recruiters standing by and will include the 165thAir Guard and the A-Battery 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment, Georgia Army National Guard.  


For anyone wishing to begin their Christmas shopping early, there will be plenty of talented artists and craftsmen displaying their work for sale.


The children’s activity area is large again this year with bungee jumps, games and an exciting “Water Walk”, where children get inside a giant clear ball and roll around on a shallow pool of water. Sun Country Amusements will have their inflatables and rock wall again as well.

Children can try out the kids’ activities for free on Friday from 12-3 p.m. Effingham Health System is the Children’s Area Sponsor. 


“It’s nice to have so much room to grow this event and still be in sight of highway 21,” Lott said. “We are already planning on bringing in new activities for the community to enjoy along with free parking.”


Lott said the festival will feature the large tent covering the stage and seating, as well as the beer trailers and an ATM. Effingham Health System will also have a first aid tent on site in the vendor area.


Music for Friday and Saturday will include the popular Channelheimers Oompah Band, entries for the Friday evening Battle of the Bands and Walt Richards and the Psycho Devilles, who will play on Saturday afternoon.


Sponsors include Georgia Power, Effingham Health System, Coca Cola, Rincon Chevrolet, Schnitzel Shack, Harold’s Body Shop, Nine Lines Apparel, H&R Block, Bulloch Marine, United Health Care, St. Joseph Immediate Care, Leaf Filter, Rainbow, Dusty Zeigler Allstate Insurance, Amedysis, Effingham Herald, GeoVista Credit Union, Ashley Mathers Keller Williams, Bath Fitter, Effingham Magazine, Enmark Stations, Ameris Bank, Georgia Transformer, Papa John’s Pizza, Queensborough Bank, Verizon Wireless, DeWitt Insurance, Renasant Bank, Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty, State Farm Insurance-Ashley Boyette, City of Rincon, City of Guyton, I-95 and KIX 96 radio, Presnell Partners, Sen. Jack Hill, Rep. Jon Burns, AOK Portables, the Effingham IDA and more.


For additional Oktoberfest information, contact Rick Lott at (912) 754-3301 or