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Homer Simpson to Lead World’s Largest Chicken Dance

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We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, that annual two-week-long beer- and wurst-fueled party—though party seems a bit of an understatement, no?—held in Munich, Germany. But what some of you may not know about is that the U.S. has its own pint-sized version of the celebration in Cincinnati, OH—renamed "Zinzinnati" for the event.

For two days (September 19 and 20 this year), some 500,000 lederhosen-sporting German-for-the-weekend visitors pile into a six-block area where, according to the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati website they collectively down 800 barrels of beer and feast on 80,000 bratwursts, 56,000 sausages, and 3,600lbs of sauerkraut. (Tip: Pack a bottle or two of Pepto Bismol.)

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But what would a German party be without polka music and dance? Nothing. And what is the most famous polka jam? That’s right. The Chicken Dance. You see, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is also the Guinness World Records winner for the World’s Largest Chicken Dance—48,000 people participated in 1994. The celebration has since invited such celebs as Davy Jones, Weird Al Yankovic, Verne Troyer (a.k.a. Mini Me), and local Olympic medalists Mary Wineberg and David Payne (pictured) to help lead the throng in the classic dance.

This year, however, the dance will be led by one of the most famous figures in all of pop culture history (and a personal hero of mine): Homer Simpson.

Yes, you read that right. Homer Simpson—or, y’know, someone dressed as Homer Simpson…on account of cartoons not being real and all—will lead the World’s Largest Chicken Dance this year. The fun takes place on Sunday, September 20 at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati.

And hey, maybe this animated beer aficionado’s leadership will draw enough people that the festival can break its own record!

Joshua Pramis is the online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.


Photos courtesy of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

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