Jefferson City celebrates 20th annual Oktoberfest
JEFFERSON CITY - Today marked the 20th anniversary of Jefferson City’s Oktoberfest and while there were doubts over whether or not it could happen, organizers found a way.
The festival, which is a combination of food trucks, vendors, and cars, was scaled back this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebranded as “Oktoberfest Picnic.” Notable exclusions included the beergarten and bratwursts.
But even with a scaled down event, attendees were still able to enjoy a Saturday afternoon out.
For Doug Wilson, the president of the Central Missouri Renaissance Fair, the festival was about getting out and honoring Jefferson City’s rich German heritage, while also spending time with friends.
“We just like the way that it reaches out to the community,” Wilson said. “We like the way that it embraces the German heritage that exists inside of Jeff city and everyone else as well.”
Wilson said that he appreciated the efforts the organization took to keep people safe at this year’s festival.
“You don’t have as many people out, but I think the participation is just as good,” he said. “And they’ve scaled some things back, they scaled back some of the entertainment that normally would have a lot of people clustered about.”
In the absence of live music, the car show was the main attraction. Gary Heim, a resident from Middletown, MO, came this year with his 1941 Chevrolet pick up, painted black and gold for the University of Missouri.
Heim said it was worth coming out this year, even if the stakes are a little bit higher than in years past.
“Actually, this is the first car show I’ve been to this year,” he said. “I’m immune compromised because I had a stem cell transplant in 2009, so we’re being very cautious.”
Though this may be his first show of the year, he says that it meant a lot that this show as still able to happen.
"This just happens to be my favorite show, I've been here a couple of times, so we're just taking a little chance and having a good time."