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‘Tis the Season To Be German

It’s that time of year. With autumn’s arrival this weekend, it’s also time to break out your lederhosen for the kick-off of Oktoberfest.
    Established in Munich in 1810 as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Oktoberfest has evolved as a cultural phenomenon celebrating agriculture (specifically the hops crops) with a giant party that runs from the end of September thru the first Sunday in October. The festivities revolve around food, music and beer — lots of beer.
    For Oktoberfest, you can book a ticket to Deutchland, or stay local, grab a stein and join the Chesapeake Country party. As The Old Stein Inn owner Mike Selinger says, “everyone’s German during Oktoberfest.”
    The Old Stein Inn in Mayo toasts Germany year-round, but the bar rises for Oktoberfest. The fun starts with live music this Thursday thru Sunday, daily promotions and special menu items. Entrees include wild boar and mushroom goulash, stuffed pork belly and crispy salmon schnitzel. Desserts range from cherry strudel and Nutella brownie to schwarzwalder kirschtorte or black forest cake. The large selection of German beer and wine is always best in the outside biergarten at long tables with friends.
    Check The Old Stein’s ad in this week’s paper or their website for upcoming events and music as festivities continue through the end of October.
    In West Annapolis, Regina’s Restaurant and the West Annapolis Business Affiliation gear up for the 22nd West Annapolis Oktoberfest street celebration. This Saturday, the village of West Annapolis closes Annapolis Street in favor of beer, food, crafts and activities and the Oom-Pah-Pah band.
    Regina’s owner Stephanie Regina and her mother and restaurant founder, Wallie, started the festival to showcase their German heritage and Old World recipes. For West Annapolis Oktoberfest, the restaurant will be closed with draft beer and classic dishes served in a large tent in the parking lot. Choose from traditional sausages, smoked pork chops (aka Kassleripken), red cabbage and homemade apple struedel. Beer is also authentic: Oktoberfest Spaten and Franziskaner Weissbier.
    Regina’s continues the party with Oktoberfest Happy Hours every Saturday thru October from 4-8pm with more authentic German foods.
    In Rose Haven, Honey’s Harvest South hosts an Oktoberfest Biergarten dinner on Friday, September 28, 7-10pm. For one price ($18 in advance; $20 at the door) you’ll enter a tented beer garden for a dinner buffet and a variety of Oktoberfest beer samples with a keepsake mug. Menu includes knockwurst, bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut with traditional bee sting cake for dessert.