Rites of Oktober: This week's "don't miss" is MainStrasse Village's Oktoberfest, an extravaganza of German food, oom-pah music, swirling dancers, rides, crafts vendors and cold beer, domestic and imported. It runs noon-11 p.m. today, noon-9 p.m. Sunday on six blocks along Sixth Street with spillovers onto Main, Philadelphia and into Goebel Park.
Food finds: There are 23 restaurants dishing up at least 75 selections at prices running $1.50 to $9 for full dinners. Biggest sellers are always sauerkraut topped brats and metts ($3-$4), with sauerkraut balls ($4) a close second. Other German musts: Goetta balls ($3) from Mick Noll's Covington Haus are tasty little meatball concoctions. Fruit strudels ($3) from Strudel Haus are legendary. Limburger cheese ($3) from Reuben USA is, well, authentic. Roasted almonds ($3-$10) from Alpine Almonds are good stroller food. So are German eggrolls ($2) from several vendors.
Music: It's all the time, all day. Here are a few musts:
Pete Wagner German Band, 7:30 p.m. today, Goebel Park Stage. Good dance music.
Motion Sick Love Slaves, 7:15 p.m. today, Main Street Stage. A little rock 'n' roll to work off the metts and beer.
Leroy Ellington & E-Funk, 6 p.m. Sunday, Festival Stage. Nobody sits still when they play.
Parking tip: You can do it free in the IRS lot at Fourth and Johnson streets. There are a bunch of smaller paid lots charging $5-$10 on several side streets. Street parking is available but not plentiful.
West Side: Yet another end-of-summer tradition unfolds this weekend with the 144th annual Harvest Home Fair at Cheviot's Harvest Home Park. "The biggest little fair in Ohio" has a horse show with a cowboy mounted shooting demonstration and four-horse hitch exhibition at 3 p.m. Junior horticulturalists show off arrangements at 11 a.m. today. The art show is all local. There's also plenty fair food to scarf up. Noon-11 p.m. today and Sunday (horse show and some exhibits open earlier), $5, children under 12 free. 662-0524.
All day shopping
Summer arts: Looking for art under $50? Real art? The Miamisburg Starving Artists Arts & Crafts Fall Festival is a juried show, meaning the 200 exhibitors pass artistic muster with their painting, basketry, glass, photography, ceramics, jewelry and fiber art priced under $50. And food, too. It's 8 a.m.-5 p.m. today, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, south of Dayton near Centerville. Info at www.miamisburgstarvingartists.org.
Next Weekend: The Cincinnati Lunken Air Show celebrates the 100th anniversary of flight with guests the Tuskegee Airmen, historic war birds from the Air Museum Planes of Fame, aerobatics, flight simulators, aviation exhibits and tons more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 13 and 14, Lunken Airport, 262 Wilmer Ave., Linwood, $12, free under age 13. 321-4291.
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