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WATERLOO — The first ever Iowa Oktoberfest will be Friday and Saturday in downtown Waterloo.

The festival celebrating German heritage, music and food will take place at near Anton’s German Bier Garden and Newton’s Paradise cafe at East Fourth and Sycamore streets.

There will be a polka party, live music, four beer and food gardens and contests like hammerschlagen, stein hoist, kubb, corn hole and keg rolling, as well as best beard, belching and beer belly competitions.

The ribbon cutting and golden beer keg tapping happens at 5 p.m. Friday followed by a celebrity stein hoist competition to kick off the celebration.

“There’s a lot of German heritage here in the Cedar Valley and I thought, well, hey, no better way of coming together than over some pretzels, beer and good old-fashioned oompah music,” said Iowa Oktoberfest Beer Meister Jim Walsh.

Friday’s live music includes the Ackley German Band and Lonesome Road.

Saturday morning and afternoon is all about families — the first 400 kids in the gate will receive a free pumpkin to decorate. The Barktoberfest Dog Costume Parade is at 11 a.m.

Saturday’s live music lineup includes Bob Dorr & The Limestoners, Tim “The Music Man,” Harvey Headbanger, and Barefoot Becky.

For a complete activities schedule or to volunteer, go to www.IowaOktoberfest.com.

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