St. Louis set to celebrate Soulard Oktoberfest

October 11, 2013 by  

St. Louis residents are getting ready for one of the signature events of autumn: Oktoberfest.

In St. Louis, this year’s Oktoberfest will be held at Lafayette and 3rd Street, two blocks from the Soulard Market, which gives its name to the event. The city began celebrating Oktoberfest in 2004, and in that time, it has grown to become the third largest such festival in the United States, drawing attendees from throughout the Midwest, and St. Louis itself.

Event founder John McKinstry says the Soulard festival tries to duplicate the German experience, with traditional food, German beer, and bands. He says it is not a rock festival, but as close as the organizers can come to the traditional German celebration.

The celebration of Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany as a 16-day festival celebrating the marriage in 1810 of Crown Prince Ludwig, later King of Bavaria, to Princess Therese. It has been ongoing every year since, and has spread to become a tradition in countries around the world.

Soulard Oktoberfest opens today, October 11, and runs from 5:00 pm to midnight before returning tomorrow and Sunday. McKinstry expects anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 people to attend.

Event organizers might be working with brochure printers to create a hand-out for attendees listing the bands, the food and drink vendors, and giving a schedule of events, as well as listing VIP ticket amenities. The festival is running a shuttle bus service to alleviate parking problems, and the bus schedule could be incorporated into the brochure as well.