Strap on the lederhosen.

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Strap on the lederhosen.

SAT 9/24
It's true that this weekend's Oktoberfest on the Wasserfront actually takes place in September; however, that's not the result of lazy planning. In fact, the world-famous fest in Munich got started last weekend. Why call it Oktoberfest, then? The Germans have their reasons — just be thankful it's here and get your hinterteile down to Berkley Riverfront Park (the south bank between Interstate 35 and Missouri Highway 9) for some good old-fashioned stein raising and carousing. Expect the usual Bavarian beer garden, "oompah" bands and various schnitzels alongside some less-traditional activities, including pot-bellied-pig races and a full carnival for the kiddies. The headlining act is Brave Combo, a Texas quintet with two Grammys under its belt in addition to the paramount pop-culture achievement: a guest appearance on The Simpsons. The band gets its polka on starting at 9 p.m. Friday. The festivities start Friday at 4 p.m. and continue Saturday at 11 a.m. and at noon on Sunday. Admission is $5; call 816-691-2140 or see www.kcoktoberfest.org. — David Hudnall

What the Puck?
An NHL game comes to Kemper — but not really.

SAT 9/24
Preseason football is useless. Top players hardly appear, and when they're on the field, they concentrate on avoiding injury. Yet fans show up because these meaningless affairs are part of the season-ticket package, and swallowing the cost secures seats for real games. It's a sacrifice that's almost romantic, in a way that only sports enthusiasts could comprehend. Similarly, local hockey backers will pack Kemper Arena (1800 Genessee) at 7:35 p.m. Saturday for an exhibition match between the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators. (A capacity crowd showed up for an equally insignificant bout in 2003.) In this case, people shell out for tickets because Kansas City is courting teams to fill the Sprint Center, and a strong turnstile showing builds the case. KC didn't embrace the minor-league Outlaws, but that's because this is a metropolis that won't settle for anything less than the real thing — except when watching fake games. For tickets, call 816-931-3330. — Andrew Miller

Run On
Will run for food.

SAT 9/24

Marathons are not really our speed. However, the perks for Saturday's Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon have us reconsidering things. Sure, we'd get the commemorative shirt, but we'd also get a chance at winning a one-year lease on a Mini Cooper convertible. And there's an afterparty hosted by Boulevard Brewing Company and the Freighthouse restaurants. It's true: Cute cars and free food can motivate us to do just about anything — even run 26.2 miles. The race starts at 7 a.m. at Crown Center (Pershing Road and Grand Boulevard). Register online at www.waddellandreedkcmarathon.org. — Rebecca Braverman

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