Oktoberfest cut to four days in 2014

2013-05-22T00:00:00Z 2013-05-22T06:08:27Z Oktoberfest cut to four days in 2014By GERI PARLIN | gparlin@lacrossetribune.com La Crosse Tribune

It’s time to harness the gemutlichkeit. Beginning in 2014, Oktoberfest will shorten its fest from its present nine-day run to a four-day run.

Organizers are calling it a return to their roots — Oktoberfest began as a four day festival. It changed to a nine-day fest in 2000. Now, said Kam-Lin Roswall, president of the Oktoberfest Board of Directors, it’s time to rein in and make the four days denser with activities.

One of the fest’s goals, she said, was also to be fiscally responsible. The festival has posted financial losses in at least three of the past four years, according to its tax documents.

Organizers said they’ve been discussing the change for four years and that a new city policy that requires fees for parades had little to do with the decision.

This year’s festival will remain nine days, from Sept. 27 through Oct. 5. Next year, the festival will open Thursday, Sept. 25, with the Torchlight Parade.

The Maple Leaf Parade will re-main on Saturday, and the festival will continue through Sunday, Sept. 28.

Asked why the festival isn’t being held in October, Roswall answered, “Why mess with tradition?”

Oktoberfest traditionally begins in September and ends in October.

Roswall said they were announcing the change now because they need to get the word out well in advance of next year’s festival.

“We are aware that literally thousands of people plan their schedules around our event and want to give all of our friends and supporters ample notice of our new format,” she said.

Roswall said the shorter festival will be more robust, with many activities on both North and South Side grounds. The shortened fest will boost activity on the North Side grounds, organizers said.

While a schedule has not been completely set and they haven’t

figured out how to squeeze in all the activities, Roswall said making full use of both grounds should help them juggle most of the events.

“The Oktoberfest board has shared their thoughts with the fest family groups and there is strong consensus that this is the right move at the right time,” Roswall said.

Dave Clements, executive director of the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the shorter festival should not affect the annual $3 million impact Oktoberfest makes on the city.

“I don’t see that changing,” he said. “I don’t see any negative impact at all.”

“It’s a positive move for our community,” Roswall said.

Exact details aren’t finalized, but there will still be a Miss La Crosse-Oktoberfest pageant, there will still be a Festmaster’s Ball and the royal family will still attend area parades and visit schools, hospitals and nursing homes, Roswall said.

“We intend to be around for awhile.”

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. 2bad4u
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    2bad4u - May 22, 2013 5:28 pm
    Buttons half-price??? Might be actually worth going then..
  2. deezus
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    deezus - May 22, 2013 5:17 pm
    Because the poll shows up all over the place, not just on this story.
  3. superman
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    superman - May 22, 2013 4:55 pm
    They why bother to comment on it.
  4. deezus
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    deezus - May 22, 2013 4:28 pm
    The poll should have an option of "Don't care" because I honestly could care less.
  5. teddyj
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    teddyj - May 22, 2013 3:46 pm
    I haven't gone in 7 years. If you've been to it once you've seen everything you're going to see.
  6. teddyj
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    teddyj - May 22, 2013 3:44 pm
    When are we cutting it to 2 days? If 4 days is better than 9 imagine how good 2 days would be compared to 4.
  7. Napoleon
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    Napoleon - May 22, 2013 1:19 pm
    Why not go all the way? Zero days is better! No drunken slobs marauding through our town during the nice fall weather! It'd be nice to have all those days back!
  8. cowboy hooli
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    cowboy hooli - May 22, 2013 10:04 am
    Continue the party on your own...
  9. Deadwood subscriber
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    Deadwood subscriber - May 22, 2013 9:07 am
    I'm okay with shortening the Fest, but saying it won't impact the $3 million bottom line? Hogwash.
  10. Tdw
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    Tdw - May 22, 2013 8:42 am
    Good idea
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