MT ANGEL, Ore. — After going virtual last year, the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is back in person this year and kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 16. Organizers are expecting about half the amount of people compared to a normal year, which is around 300,000 over the four-day festival.
Most of Oktoberfest will be held outside and there will be multiple beer gardens, over 30 food venders, and music and games. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place including plenty of spacing and hand sanitizing stations. People will be required to wear masks, but they will not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Marketing Director Monica Bochsler said back in June, organizers committed to having Oktoberfest in June and did not expect the rise in COVID-19 cases months later.
"Whether we open our doors or not, we have expenses," Bochsler said. "Without being able to hold a festival, we would have to seriously consider if we would ever be able to hold a festival again, so we need to get open and make some money."
Bochsler said a lot of the money from the festival goes right back into the community. They have given away a total of $3 million in grants since the festival began. The food venders featured at Oktoberfest are all nonprofits, and in 2019, they earned $780,000.
The festival starts at 11 a.m. on Sept. 16 and it goes until 9 p.m. on Sept. 19. People can buy tickets on the Oktoberfest website or at the door.