TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As the 48th anniversary of Oktoberfest is a few days away, COVID-19 guidelines will implemented at the event to keep attendees safe.
Guidelines include sanitation stations, the adding of a $1 admission to keep a headcount of attendees, requiring attendees to purchase a priced meal ticket and having food pre-packaged to reduce time spent in line.
Vice President of Terre Haute’s German Oberlandler’s Club Brad Cress said this year has a focus on safety.
“The festival layout is changed to maximize room for social distancing,” Cress said. “We do not want to be a super spreader type of event. With the procedures and protocols we have in place, I don’t see that happening. We hope people will use their best judgement.”
Masks are recommended at the event, not required.
Though the weekend celebrates Oktoberfest’s 48th anniversary, for members it comes with added pressure. After its biggest revenue stream was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, the Oberlandler’s club has taken a financial hit.
“It being the biggest part of our budget, if we did not have it again or we don’t have a good turnout, it doesn’t help the future of the German Club here in town in the long term,” Cress said. “It’s very important to us, we feel it is very important to the community.”
In Vigo County, guidelines for festivals are at the discretion of the organizers. Heath Educator with the Vigo County Health Department Roni Elder said people should wear a mask when necessary.
“Remember the protocols, if we don’t and pretend like COVID-19 never happened, we’re going to continue to spike,” Elder said. “That might be a point where do we have to step in and put more restrictions on things if numbers go up.”
Oktoberfest is scheduled to take place Sept. 17 and 18 at the Meadows.