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Oktoberfest invades downtown Friday, Saturday
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Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill

The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park starts today. Gates are open from 5-11 p.m. Tomorrow, festivities run from 10 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger. On Saturday after 4 p.m., admission is $10 for adults.
There are designated parking areas around the park and free shuttles will take patrons to and from the festival.
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Don your dirndls, lederhosen und bundhose. Polish your steins and prepare to get your Deutsch on this weekend as the Downtown Development Authority and Zum Rosenhof German Restaurant ring in their first Oktoberfest tonight.
Festivities start at 5 and continue all day Saturday.
According to Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Director Vicki Davis, they are planning a traditional opening ceremony similar to Munich’s, tapping the first keg of beer. That will take place tonight at 6:30.
Friday’s festivities will include a beer tent featuring German beers like Tucher, Warsteiner and Dunkel.
Manuela Horn, known as the Austrian Amazon, will perform her comedy yodeling act and Kerry Christensen will sing traditional as well as alpine, cajun, Latin, Jewish, Hawaiian, jazz, classical and his always popular humorous yodeling renditions.
Headlining the music tonight is Liberty County’s own Cody Walden taking the stage at 8 p.m.
Davis said the public is encouraged to dress in authentic attire for a chance to win prizes.
The fun continues on Saturday with a “kinderfun” area for the children from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  Davis said there will be train rides, face painting and an area where children can make authentic German hats.
Festivities for older children continue until 11 p.m., featuring the yodelers and The Rhinelanders oompah band. Activities for all ages are available all day and some are geared to our four-legged friends.
“One of the vendors will have a photo booth where folks can get pictures of their children or pets dressed in costumes,” Davis said.
Throughout the weekend Horn and Christensen will be prompting the public to join in yodeling contests, beer drinking contests and even German karaoke.
“We have several door prizes to give away including, four tickets to Disney’s on Ice, “Finding Nemo” that the Courier donated,” Davis said.
Visitors also will have an opportunity to shop downtown.
 “Legally, it gives me the opportunity to badmouth kids,” Drew Cole of Uncommon Grounds coffee shop joked about volunteering to be in the dunk tank. “Actually, they were looking for a local celebrity so they picked me.”
He said Uncommon Grounds will stay open extended hours Friday and Saturday with their regular menus as well as Halloween-themed and Oktoberfest smoothies.
Next door, Jungle Jake’s Comics and Books will have live action superheroes on hand for the children.
The Frame Gallery and K.C. Flowers and Gifts plan to be open at regular hours starting at 10 a.m. New and Not will open from 10-5.
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