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Downtown St. Louis Selected for the 2019 Great North American Oktoberfest

Parks and streets surrounding newly renovated Soldiers Memorial to host first annual national event celebrating German culture

[St. Louis, February 4, 2019] – The North American Society of German Culture and Heritage (NASGCH) announced today that the parks and streets surrounding Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis will be the site of the First Annual Great North American Oktoberfest October 4 – 6, 2019.

“St. Louis is proud to host this new national event that promises to bring Bavarian-style family fun to downtown St. Louis this October,” said the Honorable Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis. “We are grateful our city was selected to host the North American version of the world’s largest folk festival that draws millions to Munich annually to celebrate German and Bavarian culture.”

Oktoberfest in Munich, which is an important part of Bavarian culture that has been held since 1810, is the largest volkfest (folk festival) in the world drawing over 6 million visitors to the 16-day festival that begins in mid-September and runs to early October.

Late last year, NASGCH, a non-profit organization that promotes German culture and heritage, selected St. Louis to be the North American home to the annual large- scale, family-friendly celebration of German culture, cuisine, and beer the organization is developing to compliment the internationally renowned event in Germany.

The Great North American Oktoberfest in St. Louis commences during the final days of the festival in Munich to allow travelers to experience both events.

“We are committed to bringing the full Munich Oktoberfest experience to families in North America,” said Martin Howell, President of NASGCH. “St. Louis is the perfect city to build an annual national event that attracts families from around the country given the city’s prime central location, affordability, family friendly reputation and rich German heritage.”

More than 800,000 people in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area claim at least some German ancestryi. The city is part of what is known as the German Triangle in the United States, a large geographic area defined by the Milwaukee region to the north, the Cincinnati region to the southeast and the St. Louis region to the southwest.

“We are very excited this event is coming to Downtown St. Louis,” said Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown STL, Inc. “As the heart of the St. Louis region, downtown is the ideal spot to bring thousands together from around St. Louis and North America to celebrate all of the positive impacts of German culture.”

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and Plaza recently underwent a $30 million renovation that was completed in November 2018. It is a part of a series of parks along Market Street in downtown St. Louis called the Gateway Mall. Other parks in the Gateway Mall have recently undergone renovations as well.

This fall, the grounds of the Great North American Oktoberfest will span two parks east of the military museum and plaza, as well as the adjacent streets. The main event will take place in an enormous Bavarian-themed Main Pavilion tent that will seat approximately 2,000 attendees. The tent will immerse guests in an authentic Deutschland-like environment that includes music, German food and beer, and table service provided by servers.

The festival grounds will include carnival rides and games for guests of all ages, and a traditional biergarten will be built on the festival grounds for the entire family to relax while enjoying German music and food. There will also be displays of German and Bavarian culture throughout the festival grounds for people to learn more about the origins of Oktoberfest, traditional foods, St. Louis’ ties to Germany, and many other items.

One of the unique elements that will distinguish this event from other Oktoberfest celebrations North American guests may be used to will be the broad array of family-friendly activities that will be available throughout the festival grounds.

NASGCH anticipates the event will attract tens of thousands of attendees over the festival’s three-day period, making the event a significant tourism driver for the city in 2019. Further details such as table reservations and entertainment schedules will be released closer to the event.

Businesses and organizations can inquire about participation and sponsorship of the event by reaching out to Jared Opsal at jopsal@nasgch.org. For more information and future updates about the festival, visit www.americanoktoberfest.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About The North American Society of German Culture & Heritage

The North American Society of German Culture & Heritage (NASGCH) is a non-profit whose mission is to educate people about German language, literature, art, music, cuisine, and customs through the creation and promotion of events and activities focused on the positive impact of German culture and heritage.

i – https://statisticalatlas.com/metro-area/Missouri/St-Louis/Ancestry

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ST. LOUIS CHOSEN AS HOST CITY FOR

2019 GREAT NORTH AMERICAN OKTOBERFEST

The North American Society of German Culture and Heritage will host a celebration of German food, beer, and culture in St. Louis in Fall 2019

(ST. LOUIS; November 28, 2018)—The North American Society of German Culture and Heritage announces today a new Oktoberfest destination for 2019 without having to leave the country. St. Louis, MO will be the host city for a celebration of the best of German food, beer, and culture unfound in North America. The event will differ from other Oktoberfest celebrations in North America as it will not only be family-friendly, but also feature award-winning brewers of German-style beer. The Great North American Oktoberfest will take place on Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6, 2019 in St. Louis with the site location to be announced in early 2019.

The festival grounds will include games and rides for guests of all ages, and the main event will take place in a large tent adorned in traditional Bavarian decorations. The event will feature beers from German breweries as well as North American breweries that brew German style beers.

“We want to bring the Munich Oktoberfest experience to this side of the pond,” explains Board President Martin Howell. “We evaluated a number of host cities from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, but St. Louis’ deeply-rooted German history and central Midwest location made it the perfect destination for our premium event. St. Louis is also located within the German Triangle, an area defined by the points of Milwaukee to the north, St. Louis to the southwest, and Cincinnati to the southeast.”

St. Louis has a history steeped in German culture that began with a large influx of German immigrants from the early 1800s and continues today with a large amount of German neighborhood festivals, German-style breweries, and German cultural/historical societies. In addition to its history, St. Louis was a fit for the festival due to the city’s central flight hub at St. Louis Lambert International Airport; over 38,000 hotel rooms; mass transit system; and more. St. Louis also has a spirit of embracing new ideas while showcasing an appreciation for its roots with one of the fastest growing startup economies in the country.

The North American Society of German Culture and Heritage (NASGCH) is a non-profit comprised of people from across the country who are passionate about German culture and seek to host an authentic Oktoberfest event, reminiscent of the celebration in Munich, Germany. The organization felt it was imperative to appoint a St. Louisan to lead the charge for the Gateway City to host the three-day festival and named Jared Opsal as executive director.

“It’s a point of civic pride for St. Louis,” he states. “We have the opportunity to deliver an Oktoberfest experience as authentic as a trip to Munich. We want to connect people through a unique experience, with a celebration of German cuisine and beer at the heart of it all.”

Opsal and team traveled to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest this year and are committed to bringing an authentic Bavarian experience to attendees. Munich’s Oktoberfest celebration highlights many different styles of German beers and dozens of traditional foods. NASGCH is inviting the top German and North American brewers to participate in this premiere event, and chefs from the area will be invited to serve traditional German foods along with their German-inspired dishes.

The event will also be family-friendly as well. Opsal explains, “It was really amazing in Munich to see how everyone takes part in the celebration. We plan to bring that family environment to the festival grounds as well.” Guests of all ages will be able to enjoy rides and games. A traditional biergarten will be built on the festival grounds for the entire family to relax while they enjoy German music and food. For those of legal drinking age, there will also be a large, traditional festival tent, decorated similar to the ones in Munich, that will seat thousands of people.

The organizers anticipate tens of thousands of attendees over the festival’s three-day period making the event a significant tourism driver for the city in 2019. “This is an opportunity for St. Louis to step into the spotlight and showcase how we can celebrate a piece of our rich cultural history and host a destination-worthy event,” says Opsal.

Businesses and organizations can inquire about participation and sponsorship of the event by reaching out to Jared Opsal at jopsal@nasgch.org.