Oktoberfest, one of Leavenworth’s biggest events, has been canceled due to concerns about COVID-19.
“Our biggest concern was over our liquor permits being denied by the city and state,” Projekt Bayern, the nonprofit that organizes Oktoberfest, wrote in its announcement, saying the state’s schedule of “phased reopening” from coronavirus closures had been too slow to accommodate the festival.
“With little movement we decided to cancel the event to protect our patrons from losing their deposits for hotels and travel agendas,” the announcement continued. “The safety of our guests and employees was also a huge factor.”
On June 27, the same day the Oktoberfest cancellation was announced, Gov. Jay Inslee and state Secretary of Health John Wiesman said that “significant rebounds in COVID-19 activity” led them to pause the state’s reopening schedule.
In 2018, the festival reported 35,000 people had attended for beer drinking, bands and Tyrolean dancing.
Next year’s Oktoberfest, the town’s 25th, is scheduled for the weekends of Oct. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16, 2021.