Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Mercedes-Benz International hosts Oktoberfest 5K in Tuscaloosa

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz International

On Oct. 28, Mercedes-Benz International will be holding an Oktoberfest-themed 5K race to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event will start promptly at 9 a.m. at Temerson Square and will last about an hour, ending back at the Square.  

Tanya Cabiness, a representative for Mercedes on the board of the American Cancer Society, gave a brief overview of the event. 

“The American Cancer Society is very special to Mercedes-Benz because cancer affects everyone, and it can affect you, affect your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, and probably has, and if it hasn’t, it probably will,” Cabiness said. “So, we feel it’s very important to be a good steward of our community, as far as programs that affect the community around us.”  

Mercedes works with several outreach programs and nonprofits to stay involved in the community. 

The Oktoberfest 5K is one of the programs that the company has started to get community involvement in. 

This is the biggest run they’ve done so far, according to Mercedes-Benz event director Carmen Eichhorn. She said the event generally starts with the runners meeting at Temerson Square about 30 minutes before. The University of Alabama’s ROTC program, along with some singers from the University, will play the national anthem before the bell goes off to signal the start of the 5K at 9 a.m. 

At the Oktoberfest celebration following the run, traditional German snacks will be served, such as German sausage and chocolate-covered fruits, provided by Peterbrooke Chocolatier. 

Cabiness said there will be live music before and after the race.  

“Our DJ is Anderson Brooks; he will be set up in front of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint, getting the crowds excited and pumped up, ready to run,” Cabiness said.  

After the race, Oktoberfest will take place at Druid City Social. There will be a medal ceremony for the top runners. Mayor Walt Maddox will speak, and a representative from Mercedes-Benz will tap a keg to signify the start of the official Oktoberfest celebration.  

When asked what they think Oktoberfest is best known for, Cabiness and Eichhorn both agreed that beer is a big part of the tradition. Eichhorn noted the cultural impact of the festival.  

“Mercedes employees that are in the German culture at a German company, you hear about German traditions, you talk to German colleagues at work,” Eichhorn said. “It should be something for our expats. Or even American colleagues, something that everyone is excited about because it’s a very German culture that we push forward even within an American or a German company, being in America trying to combine various cultures.”   

The event has several sponsors, including Buffalo Rock, Rusken Packaging Inc., Ingenics Consulting and Piggly Wiggly. These companies are partnered with Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports, which will be sponsoring the Oktoberfest festival.  

Cabiness and Eichhorn, along with Molly Blomeley Hamby, a wellness supplier for Mercedes-Benz, all expressed why they feel the cause is important to the community.  

“For me, it’s personal,” Cabiness said. “I lost my mother to breast cancer a little over four years ago. I just think it’s really important for Mercedes because we want to make sure that we are connected to our community and environment.”  

Cabiness said she never had cancer in her family prior to her mother’s diagnosis, and getting that awareness out, especially since October is breast cancer awareness month, is important to her.  

“Get your screenings, get your mammograms, and do what you need to do to make sure that you’re healthy,” Cabiness said. “Make sure you’re doing things to catch cancer or symptoms early. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and it will be well worth it.”  

Blomeley Hamby mentioned the importance of community and togetherness.  

“I think it’s good to get us all together, doing something fun instead of working and sitting around and working on a computer,” Blomeley Hamby said.  

The Oktoberfest 5K shows that Mercedes wants to create bridges internally between team members, the community and the German culture.  

“It also shows that a big company like Mercedes focuses on community outreach programs, and they encourage team members to be involved,” Eichhorn said. “Especially the fact that our CEO is so supportive of this, I think says a lot about working at Mercedes.”  

Cabiness said she wants everyone to know that Oktoberfest is open to families and people of all ages. The event is based around fun and overall celebration.  

More to Discover