La Crosse, WISCONSIN (WXOW) – While there's no opening day parade, the Oktoberfest tradition of transporting the ceremonial "golden keg" from the brewery to the fest grounds will continue this year.
"The opening day parade will not be part of Oktoberfest activities this year," said Kam-Lin Roswall, president of the Oktoberfest Board of Directors. "However, after input and comments from both the Oktoberfest family and the public we have decided to maintain the tradition of having Oktoberfest leadership escort and transport the golden keg and its brew master to the grounds for our opening ceremonies."
2012 Festmaster Brad Sturm and his Grenadier Corps escorts will travel to the City Brewery, south of downtown, to meet Brewmaster Randy Hughes. They will then transport him and the ceremonial golden keg in a private vehicle to the Southside Oktoberfest Grounds for the 11 a.m. Opening Day Ceremonies.
"Opening day continues to be one of the brightest spots for Oktoberfest in terms of attendance and festive atmosphere," says Roswall. The grounds will open at 9 a.m. on Friday to help reduce congestion at entrance points. "We look forward to another year where we celebrate the generations who have maintained so many Oktoberfest traditions."
Oktoberfest patrons are encouraged and welcome to greet the Festmaster, Brewmaster and Golden Keg as they arrive at the Kaplan Bier Garden stage on the Southside Oktoberfest Grounds.