Expanded Milwaukee Oktoberfest begins today

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, along with Alderman Bob Bauman and Milwaukee County Parks director John Dargle, will assume the roles of keg tappers at the city’s first Oktoberfest opening ceremony today at Pere Marquette Park in downtown Milwaukee. 

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, The Old German Beer Hall, Westown Association, Sazama’s Fine Catering, OnMilwaukee.com and Milwaukee County Parks are teaming up for the first time to celebrate a Bavarian style Oktoberfest at both the Marcus Center Grounds and in Pere Marquette Park.

The tradition of having a local dignitary tap the keg dates back to the days when breweries were a ducal privilege and the beer they brewed was reserved for the court.  In the case of Oktoberfest, tradition holds that no beer may be served until the mayor has tapped the first keg.

Marking the final weekend of the original festival in Munich, The Original Milwaukee Oktoberfest celebration will take place this weekend.  The Marcus Center Grounds and Pere Marquette festivities will be held today through Sunday.

A festival tent and beer garden have been erected in the park.  Hofbräu Oktoberfest Beer, the original beer of King Ludwig’s Royal Brewery, will be featured, along with traditional Bavarian foods including giant fresh baked pretzels, bratwurst, wieners and pork sandwiches. The entertainment lineup for Pere Marquette includes Blaskapelle, Polka Floyd, Sigmund Snopek, Thomas Dietrich, Austrian Express, and Ferd Buchel, Tony Gorenc, and Jim Thull.

For more information on the Oktoberfest festivities visit www.MKEOktoberfest.com.

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