The Minster Oktoberfest board has announced that the 2020 festival will be mostly cancelled this year.
The festival was going to be held the first weekend in October, and the members of the board say they are going to find ways to honor the grand marshal of the parade and the button design winner this year. Plus, they are looking at holding the Lil Miss Oktoberfest and Miss Oktoberfest contest. But unfortunately, the rest of the events will be put on hold until 2021. The festival is not only a big celebration of German heritage but a fundraiser for 29 different organizations around the Minster area. Organizers say they will be back next year bigger and better.
Letter from the Minster Oktoberfest board
July 31, 2020
The Minster Oktoberfest Board is saddened to announce that the 46th annual Minster Oktoberfest will not be held Oct. 2–4, 2020, the same way it has in the past. After much discussion, collaboration with our nearly 50 committee members, gathering feedback from our many partners and meetings with the Auglaize County Health Department, we were not able to figure out a way to hold the event and adhere to all the guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s office due to Covid-19.
This decision was not made lightly, and we feel it is ultimately in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of our patrons, staff, volunteers, committee members, organizations and the people that live in the great Village of Minster. A special thank you goes out to the Auglaize County Health Department, for meeting with us several times to try and work out a way for us to hold the event. We felt it would be a challenge to reasonably adhere to the current mask mandate along with other restrictions, and there is potential for additional restrictions in the weeks to come. In addition to the cost involved with social distancing, the potential for more restrictions creates a situation where the festival might be cancelled or even shut down mid-festival.
Many people think of the Minster Oktoberfest as just a beer and food festival. However, it is possibly the biggest or only fundraiser for the 29 non-profit organizations that participate every year. And as much as we want to continue with the social part of the festival, we also need to look at the financial impacts of having low attendance, the added expenses of adhering to additional restrictions, or the possibility that the event gets halted just days prior.
The Minster Oktoberfest as we traditionally love will not be happening this year. We are however, making plans to honor this year’s Grand Marshal as well as the button design winner. We are trying to create plans to safely hold our Lil Miss Oktoberfest and Miss Oktoberfest contests, so be on the lookout for those registrations. When students go back to school, we still plan to inject the Oktoberfest spirit by continuing with our coloring contest. And because we are counting this as an official Oktoberfest year, we are planning to have event collectibles, such as buttons, mugs and pins available to purchase. So the spirit of the Minster Oktoberfest will still be felt and celebrated, it will just be different in how we do it.
“The people of Minster feel the Oktoberfest is not just an event. It’s a feeling, a spirit, a happy mood combined with warmth and friendship of the community, our gemutlichkeit.”
Finally, while we are not having the social portion of the Oktoberfest, we encourage everyone to celebrate our community, our friendships and our German heritage on a daily basis. And when Oct. 2–4 comes up on the calendar, we encourage everyone to celebrate with us by enjoying a bratwurst or mettwurst sipping a beverage and dancing to at least one German song that weekend. We vow next year to make the 47th Minster Oktoberfest bigger and better.
We look forward to seeing you all at Minster Oktoberfest & Centennial Park in 2021.
The Minster Oktoberfest Board