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Chambers annual Oktoberfest starts Friday
oktoberfest guide 1
Effingham Chamber Executive Director Rick Lott, left, and Effingham Herald multimedia sales representative Catherine Lentz show off the handy pocket guides that will be available this year for Oktoberfest. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The Effingham Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the sixth annual Effingham Oktoberfest, to be held Friday and Saturday at Rincon’s Freedom Park.

“This has become one of those events in Effingham County like the county fair, where people really look forward to it every year,” said Chamber Executive Director Rick Lott.

A bull ride has been added this year which should make things exciting. And for all the children that are not in school or can use a Friday break, the Free Kids Play will be in effect from noon Friday until 3 p.m., which means they can enjoy the kids’ activities for free during that time.

Friday night will kick off with a special opening ceremony at 6 p.m. where local Salzburgers and others of Germanic descent will be recognized. Following that will be the traditional tapping of the ceremonial keg and raising a toast to the Oktoberfest. Then at 6:30, the Best Whiskers Contest will take place where anyone with a bit of facial hair can enter (it’s free) to win cash prizes.

The battle of the bands will get started at 7 p.m. This year’s band line-up features Bad Justice, Georgia Fire Band, Two to Fly, and Mixed Groove. The winning band will open for Saturday night’s headliner, Josh Sanders and band. Another musical highlight will be a performance Saturday at 5 p.m. by the Effingham Orchestra’s jazz Ensemble.

Lott said there are more than 80 vendors this year, a record for the event. Vendors will be selling everything from children’s clothing to jams and jellies and everything in between. Parking will be onsite and free although a Boy Scout troop again will be assisting in safe parking for donations.

He also said that depending on the weather, the Chamber hopes to see a crowd of about 5,000 for the two-day event and that they will have an ATM on site to help customers with cash.

For more information call the Effingham Chamber at 754-3301.