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Crowds enjoy Oktoberfest
Anka and David Hinze set up a keg of beer that was later tapped by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips to open the 2010 Oktoberfest activities. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The revelry lasted late after the second annual downtown Hinesville Oktoberfest kicked off Friday evening with the ceremonial tapping of the keg under a huge tent filled with spectators and dignitaries.
This year the tapping was done by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, acting commander of Fort Stewart, who said the evening’s festivities had an added measure of joy.
“We are all neighbors and we are all one community and between tonight and tomorrow morning we are going to have 2,000 of the Second Brigade coming home. So we are going to celebrate tonight.”
The celebration is sponsored in part by Zum Rosenhof restaurant and its owners Anka and David Hinze said the last few months have been busy. With the help of volunteers and sponsors downtown Hinesville was transformed into little Bavaria for the two days of authentic German food, live music, entertainment and, of course, lots of German beer.
“It means a lot to us,” David Hinze said. “We had such a great turnout last year and so many people supported it that we were more than happy to do this. We hope that it keeps growing and getting better over the years.”
Hinze spent 10 and a half years in the military and was once stationed in Germany. Once back in Liberty County Hinze bought Zum Rosenhof, offering a bit of comfort for the many German people who live in Liberty County, but miss their traditions.
Hinze said coming up with the idea of throwing an Oktoberfest event was easy.
“We wanted to do something for the community,” he said. “We know there are a lot of Germans here from the Army base and a lot of soldiers. You know I was a soldier myself. So we thought what better way to do this.”
In addition to the return of the Second Brigade this Oktoberfest was marked by another special occasion.
“We are really excited to bring Hinesville Oktoberfest here in 2010 which is the 200th anniversary of the very first original Oktoberfest that was actually a wedding ceremony for Bavarian royalty,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Director Vicki Davis said. “We are excited to bring our second one here. We’re just two hours into the event on Friday night and I think we’ve already doubled our numbers from last year. We are very excited. The weather is perfect and we appreciate the support and look forward to a great weekend.”
On Friday evening Manuela Horn opened festivities with comic musical entertainment, engaging the audience with laughter and cheers. Savannah rockers Liquid Ginger kept the revelers on their feet dancing and singing into the night.
“I know the city enjoys it and a lot of our soldiers enjoy it because many are used to being in Germany this time of year,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. “This just brings back those memories. It’s a good thing for our city.”

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