Oktoberfest returns to NKY this weekend


This weekend marks the 34th annual Oktoberfest in Covington’s MainStrasse Village and this year looks to be its finest yet. The German heritage festival will take place across six blocks around Covington’s Main Street area starting at 5 p.m. this Friday and going throughout the weekend until Sunday night.

Keeping with tradition, MainStrasse launches its annual festival the weekend after Labor Day as a way to mark the end of summer and begin the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area’s celebration of its German heritage.

MainStrasse’s Oktoberfest celebration will continue this year with its traditional events including an offering of a wide array of traditional German food as well as other palatable international dishes. In addition, there will be live music from an assortment of genres – classic rock, blues, country, traditional German music – set up on four different stages within the event perimeters.

The festival includes fun for kids as well, with various rides and attractions set up in nearby Goebel Park located just a block over from the center of MainStrasse (Sixth Street and Main Street in Covington). This year will once again feature MainStrasse’s “Get Your Chalk On,” the Saturday drawing contest where attendees can show off their artistic chalking talents with a chance to win various cash prizes.

“Arts and crafts are a big part of our festival,” said MainStrasse Association coordinator Donna Kremer, who has been a part of the Oktoberfest celebration for the past few years. “Our tree-lined promenade is [also] one of our big pluses,” she said

The center of MainStrasse contains a shady boulevard that stretches for three blocks perpendicular to Main Street, offering a perfect atmosphere to enjoy arts, crafts, beverages and food. “Everyone can find something that they like,” Kremer said. “It’s a great place to come as couples, as singles, as families; there’s something for everyone.”

For college students, Oktoberfest at MainStrasse offers a chance for entertainment off campus. Night lifers, music lovers and thrill seekers will have plenty to engage in during the three-day extravaganza.

MainStrasse has an eclectic range of bars and, set up specifically for Oktoberfest, a biergarten near the main performance stage. Festival rides will be set up in the Fifth Street parking lot around the corner from Goebel Park.

“MainStrasse is an environment with a great aura for everyone to enjoy,” said Krysten Stein, a communication professor, who is teaching public speaking at NKU this fall. Stein, who has been to the festival in the past, plans on attending it again this year.

“Oktoberfest brings an eclectic and diverse array of food and drinks, perfect for a weekend event,” she said.

Those driving to the event can park for free in the IRS parking lot located in walking distance from Main Street. The event is expected to draw an estimated 125,000 people, so there will be plenty of food and beverages to go around from various vendors all weekend long. The opening ceremony begins at the Goose Girl Fountain at 6 p.m. Friday, and the fun and entertainment will last all weekend.