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Plenty to do at Avon Park's Oktoberfest

AVON PARK - German food, German beer, German games, along with homespun family entertainment and food, and Fireman challenges, converges in Avon Park's sixth annual Oktoberfest, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday . Fifty-five food and crafts vendors will line up along Main Street. Returning this year are the wiener dog races, the Fireman Olympics, oompa music, a beer tent, bounce houses and kids' activities, a classic car show, rock music, along with a whole slew of fun Bavarian game contests, said event co-chair Laura Wade. Oktoberfest has grown to be one of Avon Park's biggest events, said Wade. "Every year it gets bigger and bigger." The Main Street Avon Park Community Redevelopment Agency is the official host and the event is free. There will be a series of events taking place along the Avon Park Depot Museum and Main Street area throughout the day.
Here is the breakdown: Firemen's Olympics "Firematics" Challenge There will be a series of two challenges that will take place throughout the day, said Rob Bullock, event co-chair and Firematics organizer. In the first one, firefighter teams from the area will compete against each in a series of simulated-type contests. There will be two divisions and the contests will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Museum Avenue. The second type of challenge is for corporate teams and individuals, who will compete against each other. "They will be brought down to the level where ordinary people can do them," Bullock said of the contests, which will be modeled on firefighting type activities. Several prizes are available for the corporate and individual contests, which will be held from 10 a.m. onward. Those who want to sign up can do so the day of the event or by calling Bullock at 399-9108. "Come down," Bullock said. "You'll have a blast." Wiener dog race and walk The fifth annual Wiener Dog Race and Wiener Walk is a fundraiser for the Ridge Area Arc. The dog races are from 2:30-3:30 p.m., and registration starts at 1 p.m. Just before the races, "dachshunds and their humans" will have a chance to "strut their stuff" in the Wiener Walk parade at 2 p.m. Racers will be divided into four categories: puppy, senior/disabled, adult and top dog. Puppies, seniors and disabled dogs will run 20 feet, and adult and top dog competitors will run 35 feet. "Not all dogs were born to be wieners, which is why the Wiener Wannabe Race will be held for dogs less than 20 pounds. This race will follow immediately after the other races," states a news release. Entry fee is $10 per race and $2 for Wiener Walk, and applications are still being sought. For a registration form, go to www.ridgeareaarc.org or pick one up at the Ridge Area Arc office. MusicThere will be performances throughout the day, Wade said. The Shannon Reed Band will play from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Primal Connection from 1-2 p.m., while The Half and Half Band follows from 2:30- 4 p.m. All the performances will be by the flag pole. Bavarian games Wade is still taking applications for a series of Bavarian-type games where teams will compete against each other from 4-5:30 p.m. Call her at 863-368-2138 to enter a team in the competition. Some of the games, such as Wurstchenschnappen, are classic German games. Others are made up, she said. Here is a brief description: Game One: Wurstchenschnappen One partner holds a stick with a long string on the end of it and a brat attached to the end of the string. A blindfolded partner eats the brat off of the end of the rope. This game is done in three rounds. Game Two: Pantyhosen Toss One team member puts a pair of pantyhose on over their clothes and catches a tossed water balloon with their pantyhose. The team with the most balloons caught in their pantyhose wins. Game Three: Blindes Dickmannessen "Blind Chocolate Feeding Game" Two people partner up and they are both blindfolded. One person picks up a large piece of chocolate cake and feeds their teammate the cake without getting chocolate on their partners' face. The team with the least amount of chocolate on their face wins. A third team member will give the two blindfolded team members directions, but the two blindfolded team members cannot talk. Game Four: Create-a-lederhosen Teams are given a pile of clothes, scissors and a roll of duct tape. The teams will have five minutes to create the most attractive, creative and functional lederhosen. One person in the team must be able to wear the lederhosen for judging. Game Five: Blind Yodeling Competition Judges will be blindfolded as they listen to one participant from each team yodel for 10 seconds. The judges will pick the best yodeler. Other activities The beer tent will be open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. There will also be a car show on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Depot Museum will be open all day.