An official army family and MWR Site

Oktoberfest

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Oktoberfest 2022

Oktoberfest, Fort Benning’s favorite fall tradition and most authentic Oktoberfest in the area, returns to Uchee Creek Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23. Celebrate Oktoberfest traditions and German culture with us; we will bring you a little bit of Germany with our very own ‘Oktoberfest Wiesn’.

Put on your ‘Dirndl’ or ‘Lederhosen’, pack up the family and the dogs and enjoy authentic German food and brews in our BIERGARTEN (beer garden) while enjoying by traditional German music. Practice your German - come meet two authentic German speaking bands, Sonnenschein Express and the Queen of Oktoberfest, Manuela Horn. The fantastic Maneuver Center of Excellence Band will perform as well. Party with us all weekend long!

Our KINDER WIESN (children’s area) provides fun activities for the kids. Inflatables, petting zoo, pony rides, drum circle, pumpkin patch, quad jump, games, arts & crafts, carnival rides (Ferris wheel, teacups, merry-go-round), and so much more! But we don’t stop there – the Queen of Oktoberfest will have special performances for the kids.

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Every year we add more excitement to the list: NEW this year -> our SPORTHEIM (sports lounge)!  We will turn the Uchee Creek Activity Center into a real German SPORTHEIM (sports lounge) – while you eat your Bratwurst and enjoy a good German beer, watch College football and NFL games on 6 large TV’s all weekend long!

Like in Munich, the keg tapping ceremony in the BIERGARTEN kicks off the Oktoberfest. As per Fort Benning tradition, on Friday at 6 p.m. the MCoE Band will play the national anthems of both the United States of America and Germany while, Fort Benning’s leadership taps  the keg. Once you hear “O’Zapft is” (it’s tapped), the festivities have started.

On Saturday, we start the day with our annual cross country 5K Dirndl Dash and 10K Lederhosen Leap run as well as our famous Volksmarch. Register in advance and make sure you get your T-shirt! See below for information about registration and the route.

Dog contests start after lunch, we’ll have many adult games like keg tossing, stein relay, beer pong, and of course – our annual Stein Hoisting and Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest competitions, see below for detailed information and registration.

On Sunday, in old German tradition, we host our annual Crossroads church service at the Oktoberfest. The Wiesn church service is a longstanding tradition at the Munich Oktoberfest. Join us at 11 a.m. in our Biergarten for our non-denominational church service while enjoying a Schnitzel, Bratwurst or whatever the heart desires.

If you didn’t catch one of our hayrides on Saturday, make sure you do it Sunday.

Admission and parking are free! Three days of fun for the whole family, Oktoberfest is pet friendly (dogs must be on a leash at all times) and open to the public! Civilians do not need to acquire a visitor’s pass for this event if using Alabama Highway 165 to enter Uchee Creek.

Shuttle service available on post from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. to and from Oktoberfest, Saturday only (ID Cardholders ONLY). Pets are not permitted on the shuttle. 

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Oktoberfest vendors accept only tokens for the purchase of food. Tokens, $1 each, are available to purchase in advance, see below for locations, dates, and times. You can always purchase them at the event.

Check the food section below to see what our vendors offer and how many tokens you need.  

Fort Benning’s annual Oktoberfest is a three-day event that features endless family-friendly fun, free live entertainment and activities, games and carnival rides, children’s activities and the best variety of authentic German food, music, and brews. There is something for everyone. All times are Eastern Standard Time – remember, Uchee Creek is in Alabama, your phones may switch to Central Time.

Thank you for sharing this page. All information is subject to change.

Schedule of Events

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Please remember, schedule is subject to change.

Shuttle Bus Schedule

Shuttle service will be available from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. to and from Oktoberfest on post, Saturday only (ID cardholders ONLY). Pets are not permitted on the shuttle. 

Fort Benning's Oktoberfest Wiesn

Oktoberfest Wiesn? What is that? Munich’s Oktoberfest – the world’s largest fest - takes place at the Theresienwiese, an open area in Munich. Locals only call it the ‘Wiesn’ – locals don’t go to the Oktoberfest; they head over to the ‘Wiesn’.

We present you Fort Benning’s very own ‘Wiesn’.

Biergarten:

Biergarten translated into English = beer garden. Originated in Bavaria, a Biergarten is an outdoor area in which beer and food are consumed. Our Oktoberfest Biergarten hosts several seating spots, choose an original Bierbank (beer bench) and sit with your friends, or chose one of the many picknick tables. Enjoy traditional German music from Sonnenschein Express and the Queen of Oktoberfest, Manuela Horn, plus our own MCoE Band. All while enjoying authentic German food (or many of the other food items we offer) and brews – it doesn’t get better. We even have an area designated for dancing!

In case we get a couple of rain drops, grab your friends, your plate and your drink and walk over to the Sportheim (sports lounge) and wait till the sun comes back out. 

Kinder Wiesn:

Every year we have our very own KINDER WIESN (children’s area) which provides fun activities for the entire day. Inflatables, petting zoo, pony rides, drum circle, pumpkin patch, quad jump, games, arts & crafts, carnival rides (Ferris wheel, teacups, merry-go-round), and so much more! But we don’t stop here – the Queen of Oktoberfest will have special performances for the kids. Check below the list of the many activities we have for the little ones! We promise, they won’t be bored a single minute! Remember – all of it is free of charge!

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SPORTHEIM translated into English = sports lounge. A Sportheim (sports lounge is typically located in every city or smaller town which has any kind of sports club. People come together, watch their local sports team (e.g. soccer) play and enjoy some good lunch, dinner and beer. The Sportheim (sports lounge) is also a place where neighbors come together to chat about what’s going on, all while eating and drinking. And we bring one to you! NEW this year - we will turn the Uchee Creek Activity Center into a real German SPORTHEIM (sports lounge) – while you eat your Bratwurst and enjoy a good German beer, get your friends together and watch College football and NFL games on 6 large TV’s all weekend long! It’s all about sports, food and beer!

Hoist a Stein

Raise a glass of your favorite German brew … and hold it there just as long as you can. The event is open to the public and there is no entry fee, but participants must be at least 21 years old. MWR employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate. Win this year’s trophy!

Rules:

  1. Participants must be 21 or older and must present ID
  2. The 1L Hofbrauhaus Freising stein itself weighs approximately 3.5lbs.
  3. Stein will be filled to 1L lip with water.
  4. Stein must be gripped by the handle.
  5. Thumb may not go on top of the stein handle, it must rest on the other fingers.
  6. Pinkie finger may be held outside of the handle.
  7. Arching of the back is allowable, however excessive leaning is unacceptable.
  8. The stein must be gripped such that the front of the stein faces away from the competitor (the stein can't be gripped sideways).
  9. Stein must be held out in front of the competitor, not out to the side.
  10. The arm holding the stein must remain close to parallel with the floor and should be extended straight with very little bending at the elbow.
  11. The off-hand should remain at the competitor's side and should not be used to support the body.
  12. An infraction of any rule will result in a strike. After two strikes, the third infraction leads to elimination of the competitor.
  13. If any amount of water spills or drips off of the stein, the competitor is eliminated, regardless of the number of previously assigned strikes. During outdoor competitions or humid conditions, judges will differentiate between dripping resulting from condensation and dripping resulting from beer spillage.
  14. Competitors should not contact any structures, objects or people during the competition.
  15. Competitors must stand within their personal area and should not move more than is necessary to make adjustments ensuring proper form during the competition.
  16. Amateurs only. National level competitors are not eligible to participate.
10K Lederhosen Leap, 5K Dirndl Dash & Volksmarch
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Saturday, October 22, starts at 9 a.m. with the annual Oktoberfest 10K Lederhosen Leap followed by the 5K Dirndl Dash at 9:30 a.m. The 10K dirt route winds deep into the wooded hills around Uchee Creek and is NOT stroller friendly.  The 5K Dirndl Dash is a bit more accommodating for strollers and those not able to run on a rough trail.  Each race is limited to the first 300 registered and each runner will receive a finisher medal.  We encourage runners to come dressed in their favorite German attire!

These events are open to the public.

5K: Early registration $15 for 6 and over and $10 for 5 and under (until midnight on October 21 online and noon at Smith Fitness Center, October 21) with a free 5K t-shirt for the first 150 participants.  Late registration increases $5 for each.  

10K: Early registration $30 (until midnight on October 21 online and noon at Smith Fitness Center, October 21) with a free 10K t-shirt for the first 150 participants.  Day of registration increases to $40.

The Volksmarch will start after the 5K Dirndl Dash at 9:30 a.m. and is a leisurely stroll around the Uchee Creek Campgrounds.  The Volksmarch continues all day long, pick up a map at the information tent, march around and once you are  finished, swing by the information tent to receive a traditional Oktoberfest pin.

Biergarten Entertainment

Sonnenschein Express: An Alpine/Oktoberfest show band showcasing traditional folk songs and instruments found in the Alpine Region. Their performances include the sounds of the ‘Steirische Harmonika’ (button accordion), the alphorns, ringing cowbells, singing carpenters saw, shoe slapping, wooden laughter and more. In addition, crowd participation is always a big part of the performance!

The Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Band: Fort Benning’s own award-winning band will perform.

The Queen of Oktoberfest, Manuela Horn: She is back! The Queen of Oktoberfest won all hearts during last year’s Oktoberfest, we are very lucky to have her back and perform at our Oktoberfest. Manuela Horn is also known as the Austrian Amazon, is a yodeling, dancing, acting comedic force of nature. Check out last year’s pictures!

Games & Activities
  • Dachshund Derby
  • Dog contests
    • Dogs must be on a leash at all times
  • Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest
  • Pontoon Boat Rides (last pontoon ride is at 4:30 p.m.) 
  • Carnival Rides (Ferris Wheel/Teacups/Merry-Go-Round)
  • Keg Tossing Contest
  • Stein Hoisting (21+)
  • Beer Pong, Corn Hole, Keg Rolling, Keg Tossing, Stein Relay and more!
  • It is back – the Photobus will be there – makes sure to snap your pictures and take home some memories!
Free Kids Activities

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Canine Competitions
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We host canine competitions, including the Dachshund Derby and our famous Best Dog Costume.  Sign-up for these events on Saturday at the registration table located in front of the Biergarten from 11 a.m. - noon.  The Best Dog Costume contest will be held at noon and the Dachshund Derby will be at 12:30 p.m.  Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

What's on the Menu?

Traditional authentic German food! Have a Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Kraut, Pretzel’s, and potato salad (Kartoffelsalat)! We will also have a variety of other foods as well, such as chicken fingers, fries, corn dogs, hamburgers, BBQ, turkey legs and more!

A variety of dessert options including cookies, German cakes, crepes, funnel cakes, kettle corn, candy apples, Italian ice and more!

Your favorite traditional German beer! Prost!

Why do I need tokens? I thought this was a free event?

Tokens are needed to pay for all food and beverages. Admission is free, as well as the entertainment, children’s activities, and parking.

MWR uses tokens at our large events to help speed up the process of ordering and paying for food and beverages. The vendors appreciate the ease of not having to return change. BUT don’t wait in line! Pre-sale of tokens will begin October 3October 21 at the following MWR locations:

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A token trailer will be set-up at the event for our customer’s convenience. $1 per token. UNUSED tokens can be exchanged for a full refund at the event, or Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the DFMWR Headquarters, starting October 24.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get there?  Use our free smart phone app, Digital Garrison, for directions.  Search for Uchee Creek Campground and Marina.  You do not have to enter Fort Benning or acquire a post access pass for this event. Uchee Creek is easily accessed from Alabama Hwy 165. We will offer a free shuttle service Saturday to and from select on post locations, must show an ID to ride shuttle.  No pets allowed on the shuttle.

Can we bring coolers/refreshments?  No outside food and beverages are permitted at this event.

What kind of food do you serve?  You name it: Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Currywurst, Kraut, pretzels and potato salad, chicken, fries, corn dogs, hamburgers, BBQ, turkey legs and much more! Desserts include cookies, cakes, and German cakes, crepes, funnel cakes, kettle corn, candy apples, Italian ice and more. Wash it all down with your favorite brew or a soda.

Is the event handicap friendly?  This event is physically accessible to individuals with disabilities. Make requests for sign language interpretation or other accommodations to 706-545-4499.

Why do I need tokens? Do I need money?  Oktoberfest vendors only accept tokens for the purchase of food.  Avoid waiting in line and pre-purchase your tokens early, see above.

When you say kids’ activities are free, do you mean they’re free?  Actually, yes. They’ll enjoy those inflatable bounce houses, a quad jump, petting zoo, carnival rides, hayrides and the pumpkin patch, arts and crafts and games, and it won’t cost you a dime.

And for the big kids?  Adults will enjoy competitions like the annual Dachshund Derby, keg tossing and the stein hoisting contest, so many more. You’ll also enjoy (free boat rides-TBD), carnival rides, entertainment in the Biergarten, and lots of dancing. At some point, you might do the chicken dance.

What if it rains?  It’s on. Grab a beer and head into the Sportheim.

What items are prohibited?  Guns, knives, or weapons of any kind. Outside food or beverages (especially alcohol). Dogs must be on leash at all times. No unaccompanied minor.

Where can I learn more?  You can't. You are already well-armed with all that really matters. You could Google it and prove me wrong, but nothing good could come of that.

Vendor Opportunities

Oktoberfest brings more than 15,000 people to Fort Benning over a three-day period. We welcome a variety of vendors to this event, including those who sell foods of all kinds, beverages and souvenirs. For information on vending opportunity at MWR events, call +1 (706) 545-8302 or +1 (706) 527-8349.

Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities

Oktoberfest brings more than 31,000 people to Fort Benning over a three-day period. This is a great opportunity to engage with the Fort Benning community and our neighbors from around the Chattahoochee Valley. For information on sponsorship, call +1 (706) 545-4499.

Thank you to this years sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:  Fort Benning's Qualified Recycling Program

Biergarten Sponsor:  Kia Autosport

Sponsors:  First Command, AFBN, Docs Dental, Q 107.3 and Kissin 99.3

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