Emmi Banner has a new tiara to show off.

Emmi Banner has a new tiara to show off.

The senior at Ohio State University was named queen of this year's Columbus Oktoberfest.

"I'm up for it," Banner said of her yearlong commitment. "I'm finally 21. It's great."

The Columbus Oktoberfest, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be held Friday through Sunday, Sept. 25-27, at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.

Banner will make an appearance all three days -- four counting opening festivities Wednesday, Sept. 23 -- and at several events throughout the year.

She will don a traditional dirndl, tiara and sash for her Oktoberfest duties. For her trouble, she will get a gift basket with lots of goodies.

Geoff Schmidt, owner of Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, which sponsors the Oktoberfest, said Banner was picked from a field of 20.

"This was a little harder this year," Schmidt said. "We got a lot of contestants. We get more and more contestants every year."

Banner, of Cincinnati, is the sixth queen of the Oktoberfest. The criteria are few: Contestants must be at least 21 and represent the crown with dignity. Being German isn't necessary, although Banner's grandmother grew up in Munich. She is pursuing a double major in marketing and German at OSU.

Schmidt said a committee selects the queen.

Admission is free to the Oktoberfest but parking is $10.

Hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Patrons can expect a familiar lineup of live entertainment, arts and crafts, and a children's area with five stages, Schmidt said.

A seemingly endless array of food will be offered, including schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, potato pancakes, bratwurst and currywurst.

Of course, there will be a selection of fair-style food, such as a deep-fried reuben, steak on a stick, burgers, hot dogs and ribs.

Several wines and a full supply of beer, both craft and German imports, will be sold.

Popular games will return, such as the stein hoist, cream puff-eating contest, yodeling and stone toss.

A portion of the proceeds raised from the Oktoberfest will go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The 50th anniversary is special for the Schmidt family. George F. Schmidt, Geoff Schmidt's father, was one of the founding members of the festival, which spent its first three years in Schiller Park.

It drifted back and forth between German Village and the Brewery District before finally settling at the expo center seven years ago after Schmidt's took over the festival from the German Village Society.

"It is the largest community event (in Columbus) put on by a family," said Schmidt, whose restaurant is located in German Village.

There's still plenty of devotion to the festival from some German Village businesses and residents. Juergen's Bakery, 525 S. Fourth St., will be selling a variety of food at the festival. And Village resident Mike Cornelis has organized the Scut-A-Que 18 "Scuterhosen," a brigade of 200-plus motor-scooter enthusiasts from across the country and Canada who will roll into the festival around 3 p.m. Saturday.