Oktoberfest, the family-oriented German event that takes place in the center of Fredericksburg, is poised to again attract 1,400 volunteers and 20,000+ visitors for its big 40th year.
As a result, the oom-pah-pah echo of 39 previous years will carry over in the hearts and minds of people who have made the event an annual tradition, many who traversed hundreds of miles to attend. And for others, the event reminds them of Gillespie County organizations and young people who accomplished artistic endeavors thanks to Oktoberfest proceeds.
Oktoberfest Event Producer Debbie Reeh said the 40th Oktoberfest – set for October 1-3 at Marktplatz (Market Square) – will be everything people have come to expect and more. She said they are planning a special opening ceremony Friday, October 1 at 5:45 pm, celebrating the event’s longevity, growth and contribution to the community.
“I’m looking forward to all the camaraderie shared by folks coming from all around the United States and beyond, the excitement and the gemütlichkeit. It’s an amazing family festival. We could not do this without the support from all the volunteers, Oktoberfest committees and set-up crews. We’re excited to be able to have Oktoberfest this year,” Reeh said.
Oktoberfest is truly unique:
- 5:45 pm Friday: OkTUBAfest and Opening Ceremony
- 6:00 pm Friday: Meet the Shiner (Spoetzl Brewery) brew master
- 7:00 pm Friday: Shine On with the Shiner Brew Meister
- 8:45 pm Friday: Altstadt Waltz Contest
- 8:00 am Saturday: Rotary Kraut Run
- 9:00 am Saturday: Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance
- 1:00 pm Saturday: Samuel Adams Stein Hoist
- 5:00 pm Saturday: Hi-Striker Competition in the kids area (Six Hi-strikers – for all ages)
- 12 noon Sunday: Strassen Zelt Real Estate Advisory Team 42 Tournament
- 12 noon Sunday: NEWYodel Contest
- 2:30 pm Sunday: FamilyLederhosen and Dirndl Contest
- Enjoying Bratwurst – and lots of it
- Ringing the Bell along High Striker Alley
- Chicken Dance(s)
- KinderPark games for children
- Eating our legendary potato pancakes, brats and funnel cakes
- Oompah at its Best! On five stages, all weekend long
- Partaking of a wide variety of domestic, Texas and German beer
- Oktoberfest Shuttle Service on Friday and Saturday (departs from the Gillespie County Fairgrounds to MarktPlatz)
Here’s what people are saying
“The City of Fredericksburg is ecstatic to welcome back Oktoberfest for its 40th anniversary celebration. After a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus, bringing back this iconic event to our German town is more important than ever. Oktoberfest contributes to our community in so many ways and we cannot wait to see Market Square filled with the people, music, food, shopping, and contests that make the event one of the greatest Oktoberfest celebrations in North America,” said Jennifer Krupa, Special Events Coordinator for the City of Fredericksburg.
“Oktoberfest is fun for the entire family – just one of the reasons we love this event! Our annual Oktoberfest supports our efforts to showcase and maintain our German culture through the festival’s food, music, activities, decorations and authentic clothing worn by volunteers and attendees,” noted Ernie Loeffler, President/CEO, of the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau. “It is the 40th anniversary of our Oktoberfest and the 175th anniversary year of the founding of Fredericksburg by 120 German pioneers, so lots of reasons to celebrate this year!”
Volunteer and Oktoberfest Advisory Board member, Pam Wilson, describes Oktoberfest as “SO much fun. And gives back SO much to the community!!!”
Oktoberfest 2021: Just recently named Best Oktoberfests in the USA!
Previous accolades include: USA Today named Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg Texas as one of the 10 BEST in the US; Texas Journey, in their Current Events Top Picks for What’s Happening Around the State – 5 Worth a Drive listed Oktoberfest as one of the top 5; Heimat Abroad, a bilingual magazine for the German-speaking community, listed our Oktoberfest as one of The Greatest Oktoberfests in North America 2019; Oktoberfest also won Best Festival in Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post’s 2020 Readers’ Choice. “We are so honored to have received all of these accolades,” stated Debbie Reeh, Oktoberfest Event Producer.
An Angle on the Arts
The Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance (PCAA) began and orchestrates the Fredericksburg Oktoberfest, and proceeds are used to fund youth arts and music scholarships, as well as community arts and music programs.
Oktoberfest began here in Fredericksburg with the specific intent to support the arts and music, and it is the only fund-raiser PCAA has each year. Its success has enabled many young people to go to college and study the arts or music. And, it has been able to fund many local organizations, including the Fredericksburg Chorale, the Fredericksburg Theater Company, the Harper High School band and lots more.
Debbie Reeh has worked with volunteers to produce the charitable event since 1992. “Oktoberfest makes it possible for us to have 10 to 15 local students studying the arts each year. We provide scholarships to help pay for their education,” she said. “It also enables us to support up to 35 local arts programs. Last year alone, we donated over $160,000.00 to Fredericksburg arts, music and scholarships.”
Tooting the Oktoberfest Horn
Reeh said the event is also notable for how it comes together. “With 1,400 volunteer shifts, we’re able to greet our visitors and provide an experience that is remarkable. Local residents blend with guests to create a welcoming and lively event for everyone.”
For more information, visit oktoberfestinfbg.com, or call 830-997-4810.