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Oktoberfest 2019 was sponsored and produced The Bier Garden Restaurant and Festhaus, a Portsmouth favorite for more than twenty years. The Bier Garden has been producing Oktoberfest for the last sixteen years but 2019 marked the first time in came home to High Street. It was a street party in the 400 block of High Street. Over 2,000 guests attended this year’s event, more than double all previous attendance records. While the lines were long, they moved quickly. “We learned a lot this year and will make some changes to make it easier for our guests next year,” said Stefanie Osfolk-Brown, the event’s organizer. “We certainly did not expect this kind of turnout the first year in our new location.” Brown said they tapped over thirty kegs throughout the day and eventually ran out of beer about 30 minutes before the event ended.
The day began at noon with the ceremonial tapping of the kegs and continued throughout the day and into the evening. German bands performed traditional music for most of the day while guests enjoyed German Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Schnitzel, and other German specialties. Kids played in bounce houses and enjoyed a variety of games, while adults played Corn-Hole and engaged in the “strong man” competitions that took place. As typical with any Oktoberfest celebration, there was a large tent, or common area, with festhaus seating, where strangers could meet, enjoy beer and food together, and make new friends.
Other businesses in the area were thrilled with the turnout. The outdoor seating areas at Longboards, Baron’s Pub, Stellar Wine, Humbolt Steel Company, and Griffs were full throughout the day. Classic Cycles reported his busiest day since establishing his business six years ago. Guests came from Richmond, Northern Virginia, and from cities and towns throughout the Hampton Roads region and northeaster North Carolina. Many had never visited Olde Towne Portsmouth before, but said they would definitely come back. The Oktoberfest event is likely to grow even larger next year, so planning for it has already begun. If you missed it this year, put a reminder on your calendar for next and come out for a fantastic time in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.
Promotional Poster for Event
Crowds lining up for beer
Traditional Festhaus Seating