Oktoberfest kicks off: Locals celebrate German heritage in Huntsville

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A celebration with a vast history. It all started in 1810, and it looked a little different from what you’ll see this weekend. It’s Oktoberfest, and the city of Huntsville is ready to celebrate. 

Oktoberfest is celebrating its 24th annual celebration in Huntsville. Originating in Germany, Oktoberfest gives locals a chance to acknowledge the presence of German heritage in North Alabama. 

Kelson Smith of Redstone Arsenal says, “Wernher Von Braun is the founder of rocket technology in the United States and he comes from Bavaria and we’re happy to import it here and celebrate that heritage.”

The city came out for fun, food, rides, and, of course, beer.

Curtis Bowers in a Huntsville native visiting the festival for the first time. He says, “I’ll be back tomorrow for sure, I love riding the rides and the beer is cold, so!”

But there are some new additions to the festival this year. A kids zone is now available and artists will have a chance to show what they’ve got in a battle of the bands Saturday night. 

Locals say the best part about Oktoberfest is the sense of unity.

Heather Pedersen, an Oktoberfest visitor who dressed the part, says this celebration is special for her every year. Pedersen says, “My mom’s mom, my Oma, came straight from Germany and it’s a very big part of our family…Other than the fact that it’s fun, It’s nice to spread awareness of the German culture.” 

For a complete list of Oktoberfest activities click here.

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