At the annual Das Oktoberfest block party, friends and families converse over brats, hot dogs, and drinks with the peace of mind that proceeds benefit Hunger Task Force. Festival-goers gather in the Mader's parking lot at 11 a.m. for the kid-friendly, pet-friendly Brat Trot, where competitors don complimentary Oktoberfest hats before beginning the race. Trot participants then ring in the festival with a grueling 1.5-block walk, run, or ride on a giant Slinky to Pere Marquette Park. Each attendee makes the trek with a complimentary 12-ounce Oktoberfest beer or soda in one hand, accompanying a free Usinger brat or hot dog in the other. Once at the park, participants partake in a communal jubilee. Prior to the race, athletes can also compete for prizes in a contest for best costumed individual and team, or duke it out in a pig Latin spelling bee.
Hosted by Custom Label Spirits, MKE NYE 2012 helps partygoers ring in the New Year with various party rooms, a ball-drop celebration, and a champagne toast inside the swank Aloft Hotel. Upon entering the event, all guests can stash their coats or cross-country skis in the complimentary coat check before posing inside the free photo booth for spontaneous memory-making. Four DJs spin beats as go-go dancers shake their hips and models walk the runway in fashions from Flow Clothing, Nandi Collections, and Swav Designs. While complimentary appetizers keep guests from nibbling on stray confetti, wine and spirit giveaways add extra hydration to lucky winners. At the stroke of midnight, a shower of balloons falls upon raised glasses of champagne as everyone toasts to a new year and the hopeful comeback of piano neckties.
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