Mayor Barrett to tap keg at Oktoberfest

Mayor Tom Barrett, along with Alderman Bob Bauman, County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee County Parks Director John Dargle, will tap the keg at the opening ceremony of this weekend’s Oktoberfest in downtown Milwaukee. 

The official keg tapping will take place today at 4:30 PM at Pere Marquette Park.

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, The Old German Beer Hall, Westown Association, Sazama’s Fine Catering, and Milwaukee County Parks will team up for the second 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.  In keeping with this tradition, Mayor Barrett will tap the first keg of this weekend’s celebration promptly at 4:30pm on October 1 in Pere Marquette Park.  

Marking the final weekend of the original festival in Munich, The Original Milwaukee Oktoberfest celebration will be October 1-4. 

Hofbrau Festzelt at Pere Marquette Park will have a kick-off party on October 1 at 4:30 PM-11:00 PM and festivities will continue on October 2 from 12:00 PM -11:00 PM, Saturday, October 3 from 12:00 PM -11:00 PM and October 4 from 12:00 PM-6:00 PM. The Marcus Center Grounds festivities will held on Friday, October 2nd from 12:00 pm-11:00 pm, Saturday, October 3 from 12:00 pm-11:00 pm and Sunday, October 4 from 10:00 AM -2:00 PM.

An authentic festival tent and beer garden will be erected in Pere Marquette Park 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 Schnitzel.

The line-up for Pere Marquette includes Polka Kings, 5 Card Studs, Bolzen Beer Band, Sigmund Snopek, Austrian Express, Thomas Dietrich, Ed Wagner’s Brass Band, Talisman, Chris Schmidt and Blaskapelle Milwaukee.

Full dates and times of musical entertainment is available at:

All guests at Oktoberfest must be 21 or be accompanied by an adult. All guests over 21 will be issued a wristband.

For more information on the Oktoberfest event, to see a schedule of events and more, please visit the official website-

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