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First Posted: 9/9/2014

It’s that time of year again. The air has acquired a light chill, the sun sets a little earlier and brew houses all over Northeastern Pennsylvania are gearing up for Oktoberfests.

This weekend, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs kicks off the much-loved beer season with its fourth annual Oktoberfest.

“People come from all over. Some stay the weekend, others stay just for the day,” said Mike Bean, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun. “I really look forward to seeing everyone come out and have a good time.”

The kegs are tapped at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12. Last call is at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14.

The dates of the event at Pocono Downs are somewhat significant, Bean said.

“We try to make the event as authentic as possible and pick dates closest to the dates as the original Oktoberfest held in Munich,” he said.

Munich’s Oktoberfest begins Sept. 20 and runs through Oct. 5.

While Mohegan Sun’s version might not be as big or as long, it still has the potential for a big hangover.

Bean said this year there will be 70 beers and ciders showcased. From Angry Orchard Hard Cider to Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, every beer category will be represented. Expect a lot of pumpkin flavored beers, because, well, ‘tis the season.

Thirteen food vendors will be on hand serving up everything from traditional German fare including bratwurst, krainerwurst and wiener schnitzel to late-night favs served up by What the Fork. Pizza, sausage and peppers, funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos and cheesecake will also be for sale.

Yes, you need cash, but at this event, Oktobucks are what counts.

“Each Octobuck is worth $1 and attendees spend their Oktobucks on beer and food,” Bean said.

In between beers, visitors can listen to live entertainment, take part in beer-themed challenges and watch the Wiener dog races. The races have become one of the more popular events during the festival, Bean said.

Two races will be held on Friday, three on Saturday with a Penn State University half-time show around 9:30 p.m. and two on Sunday.

Feel like competing yourself? Event organizers have got you covered.

“There is a strong man and woman contest where participants hold a pint of beer outstretched for as long as they can,” Bean said.

It’s not a drinking game and it’s volume is a little more than a tradition pint. Competitors must hold a 64 oz pitcher filled with beer with an outstretched arm. Winners will receive a trophy but more importantly, bragging rights.

Participants can keep the pitchers and its liquid contents.

Male winners are invited to compete against last year’s champ.

According to the event’s website: “The mild mannered, 60+ year old Reinhard absolutely dismantled all the young (and massive) guns that made it to the stage for the final competition. This guy was born to hold a pitcher of beer.”

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the event over the three days, Bean said.

Tickets are $5 for a day pass and $10 for a weekend pass. Cold hard cash is good for the tickets, which can be purchased at various locations in the area. Day-of tickets are also available for $6.

More information about where to purchase tickets, beers, food and entertainment can be found at