By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Sep 28, 2006 at 5:10 AM
Milwaukee is known as "America's most German city," so it only makes sense that, when in Milwaukee, you do as the Germans do.

What do the German's do, exactly? Let the Old World 3rd Street Organization's Oktoberfest Milwaukee answer that question for you.

On Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30, Old World 3rd Street will be transformed into a Bavarian wonderland, filled with biergartens, brats covered in sour kraut, and, of course, polka music from noon until 11 p.m.

Stereotypical? Yes, but there's a reason stereotypes get perpetuated. Beer, brats and lively traditional music are the things that make Milwaukee a fun place to celebrate this annual traditional recognizing our cultural heritage.

During the two-day festival, Milwaukeeans can bear witness to (or participate in, if they should so choose) the City's first ever brat eating relay -- a timed race during which four-member teams consume Usinger's brats at ridiculously unnatural rates and blow whistles to alert the crowd of brat completion. Only in Milwaukee is this type of event lauded, seriously.

"There is something for everyone at Oktoberfest Milwaukee," says Janel Mayer, of Uy Creative Communications, the Old World Third Street Organization's advertising and marketing agency. "There's music for families during day and afternoon hours then more modern German rock bands along with traditional oompapa in the evenings."

The local band lineup for the weekend includes appearances by Eddie Vidmar, Alte Kamraden, Booze Brothers, Brew Haus Polka Kings, Polka Mass, Sigmund Snopek with Michael Woods and Mount Olive.

Last, but certainly not least, the bier. Oktoberfest Milwaukee proudly offers steins and steins of Spaten, Hofbrau Original, Oktoberfest, Drunkel and Weis.

All of Old World Third Street retail business will remain open during the festival, with most of the shops extending their hours and incorporating specials such as night karaoke, new food options and happy hour drink specials

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”