Bigger than ever – This year’s numbers show Oktoberfest success

September 2022 Posted in Events & Holidays, News

By Melissa Wagoner

Mount Angel’s Oktoberfest may seem like just a rollicking good time – and it is – but it’s also a massive fundraiser for churches, schools and service groups throughout the region. 

Since its inception the festival has contributed over $3.5 million to local causes. That number doesn’t even take into account the money earned each year by the nonprofit food booths in attendance, many of whom earn the bulk of their income during this one long weekend each year.

A packed Festhalle at this year’s Oktoberfest.

A packed Festhalle at this year’s Oktoberfest.

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the in-person part of the festival in 2020 those organizations really suffered. Even with the return in 2021, numbers continued to be significantly lower.

This year, however, the festival not only bounced back but came back stronger than ever. Attendence numbers were up 87 percent over 2021. Even more striking, they were up 17 percent over the 2019 pre-COVID year. It was especially good for all of those nonprofits. 

Below are some numbers at a glance.

• Wristband sales for admission to entertainment venues were way up:
2019: 29,395
2021: 18,460
2022: 34,464

• In the Weingarten, St. Mary Parish sold 5,000 schnitzel sandwiches before running out of pork and swapping over to chicken. Then they sold another 2,000 chicken sandwiches.

• Holy Family Academy sold 1,650 pounds of curly fries. That’s more than three quarters of a ton.

• St. Edwards’ Berliner booth sold 5,800 sandwiches. With supplies exhausted, they were forced to close a day early.

The statistics are promising, but Oktoberfest officials are cautious about predicting final results. The year brought  an accompanying increase in nearly every overhead expense, including a 97 percent increase in port-o-potty services and a 45 percent increase in trash removal. 

But on the upside is still very up.

“More people in town meant more money and visitors for our local businesses and lodging,” Monica Bochsler, Oktoberfest’s Director of PR and Marketing, said.  “We really hope they benefited as well from the great turn out. People traveled, some flew, lots purchased gasoline. RV lots were filled. Hotel rooms were booked. This flows over from Mount Angel and boosts the surrounding communities as well, such as Silverton and Woodburn, but also Salem and Wilsonville. It was a good year, a very good year. We hope everyone saw an uptick!”

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