Top 5 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend: Sept. 17-19

Joe Wood holds his beer stein at the opening day of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

1. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

We hope you've been practicing your chicken dance! Oktoberfest Zinzinnati – America's largest Oktoberfest – returns for in-person festivities this year after a 2020 pandemic hiatus. Annually attended by more than half a million people, it's the biggest party of the year, and it's right here! The festival takes over Second and Third streets this weekend, starting with the Running of the Wieners (dachshund races) at noon Thursday and ending on Sunday with the stein hoist competition finale and the World Brat Eating Championship featuring Joey Chestnut. There are German games, dancing, food, beer and, yes, the World's Largest Chicken Dance, which takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati celebrates the region's German heritage, and you'll see folks wearing lederhosen and dirndls, or sporting wacky chicken hats, as oom-pah music provides the soundtrack to a really good time. The German food is hearty and filling, the beer refreshing and plentiful, and the party atmosphere contagious. It happens 5 p.m.-midnight Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

The Dent Schoolhouse, 5963 Harrison Ave., in Cincinnati.

2. The Dent Schoolhouse

With its movie-quality sets and Hollywood animations, the Dent Schoolhouse (5963 Harrison Ave.,) is consistently ranked as one of the best haunted attractions in the country. It's been scaring the daylights out of Cincinnatians for decades, and this Friday kicks off another horrifying season. There’s a gruesome legend surrounding the schoolhouse, and – like the juiciest of legends – is unsupported by a single shred of evidence, but try telling that to the bloodthirsty janitor and murdered schoolchildren haunting its hallways. 

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