VALDOSTA – Denise Peters was named the first Miss Oktoberfest for Valdosta by Georgia Beer Company Saturday afternoon.

Her crowning marked the beginning of the week of Oktoberfest events. Other contestants were Lisa Niemi, Sandra Di Pietro and Cindy Heidkanp.

To claim her title, Peters had to compete against the other contestants by answering beer knowledge questions and holding a stein the longest. She was also judged on Dirndle authenticity and accessories.

“I am truly surprised to win and I'm excited,” said Peters, who is of German descent. “It's going to be a neat adventure.”

Peters' duty as Miss Oktoberfest was to pour the first Oktoberfest beer for Grand Marshal Stan Crance and ring in the start of the festivities. Crance was chosen as grand marshal because of his long-standing relationship with the owners of Georgia Beer Company and his work in helping getting the brewery started through his work at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority.

“It's an honor,” Crance said of the title.

Next year, Peters will return to Georgia Beer Company to crown the next Miss Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is happening now through Oct. 5 at Georgia Beer Company, 109 S. Briggs St., with extended hours Friday and Saturday.

Food vendors for the week, who will serve traditional Oktoberfest foods, will be Woodstack Sept. 28-30, Daylight Donuts Oct. 1-5, Amaizen' Dogs Oct. 2 and 8, Finger Jacks Oct. 3-4.

Music will be Johnny Koenig, a four-piece polka band, Sunday through Wednesday, Sept. 29 through Oct. 2; and the Beer Guyz, a musical duo, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 3-5. 

Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.

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