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Days Til Oktoberfest!

Who Led the Chicken Dance?


In 1994, the Crown Prince of Bavaria attended Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati and helped the event set a world record for the World's Largest Chicken Dance, with 48,000 participating. Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati held the world record for largest group dance in the Guinness Book of Records, 1995-97 editions.

Hirt, AlIn 1998 Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati tuned up to set a world record for the World's Largest Kazoo Band. late great trumpeter Al Hirt, a 1941 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, returned to his musical roots to lead 25,000 in a magical interpretation of his trademark song, When The Saints Go Marching In.

Yankovic, AlIn 1999 Grammy Award-winning Weird Al Yankovic led 30,000 on kazoo in a rendition of the Chicken Dance and Beer Barrel Polka. The event was featured on CNN Headline News and VH1's "Rock-n-Roll Record-breakers."

Jones, DaveyIn 2000, The Prince of The Monkees, Davy Jones, provided a goosebump moment leading the World’s Largest Chicken Dance and Kazoo Band in a rendition of “Daydream Believer.”

Orlando, TonyIn 2001, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati was postponed due to the attack on America on Sept. 11. A week following, American patriot and singer Tony Orlando led a throng on Fountain Square in inspiring renditions of “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ’Round The Old Oak Tree” and “America.”

Troyer, Verne 2002, pint-size veteran screen star Verne Troyer, who played “Mini Me” in “Austin Powers,” cast a big shadow leading the Chicken Dance.

Money, EddieIn 2003, rock icon Eddie Money celebrated 25 years in the music business as the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati grand marshal.

Neal, Vince Vince Neil, lead vocalist for the legendary rock group Mötley Crüe, led the 2004 World’s Largest Chicken Dance, an event so surreal VH1 named it the “Least Metal Moment” in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

Uncle Al and Captain Windy In 2005, legendary TV children’s entertainers Uncle Al and Captain Windy led the World's Largest Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey.


Johnson, Chad2006, AOL named Oktoberfest Zinzinnati number one Oktoberfest in the nation. Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro wide receiver Chad Johnson led the 2006 version of the Chicken Dance.

Nuxhall, Joe In 2007, the first annual John Morrell "Running of the Wieners" wiener dog race was held. "Old left-hander" Joe Nuxhall, the youngest player ever to  play Major League Baseball, led the World's Largest Chicken Dance, with help from the UC Dance Team.

Mary Wineberg and David PayneOlympic track and field medalists (Beijing) and University of Cincinnati alums Mary Wineberg and David Payne led a very athletic Chicken Dance in 2008.

Simpson, HomerD'oh! In 2009, Homer Simpson celebrated his 20th anniversary on television by leaving his hometown of Springfield to travel to Zinzinnati and lead the annual Chicken Dance.

Franklin, Rich Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion and Cincinnati native Rich Franklin led the crowd in a mixed martial arts World's Largest Chicken Dance in 2010.

Morgan, Joe 2011's version of the World's Largest Chicken Dance was led by none other than 10-time All Star, five-time Gold Glove, National League MVP, Silver Slugger, Reds and Baseball Hall of Fame legend, Joe Morgan.

Browning, TomIn 2012, the Chicken Dance was led by All Star and Reds Hall of Famer, Mr. Perfect, Tom Browning. A Cincinnati red for 11 years, Browning pitched the 13th perfect game in baseball history and the first in the history of baseball's oldest professional team on September 16, 1988.

George Tekai Chicken Dance 2013 45x60In 2013, the Chicken Dance was hosted and led by none other than George Takei of Star Trek fame! George has more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles to his credit, received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame; however, is best known for his most famous role as Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series in addition to six subsequent movies that paid homage to the original show.

Drew and Nick Lachey 87x60In 2014, brothers and Cincinnati natives Drew and Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees hosted the Chicken Dance. During the Chicken Dance, the Lacheys were followed by a film crew from A&E as they documented their experience opening their new bar in Cincinnati.

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