‘I’m very excited’: St. Benedict Oktoberfest returns to Richmond’s Museum District

Kicks off Friday at 4 p.m.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - While some festivals around RVA have decided to cancel for a second year, the St. Benedict Oktoberfest is still on!

Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, you will be able to grab traditional German food and beer in Richmond’s Museum District.

According to the chairman of the St. Benedict Oktoberfest, Ruppert Beirne, one of the reasons the festival is moving forward this year is because it is outdoors. However, they have changed some things this year to make sure everyone is able to stay safe and enjoy this annual tradition.

Soon enough, German music will ring throughout Richmond’s Museum District. The horns in the brass band will be a welcoming sight after COVID-19 prevented the St. Benedict Oktoberfest from happening in 2020.

“It was horrible,” Beirne said.

The annual three-day festival, now in its 16th year, is much more than just having a good time; it is a fundraiser for St. Benedict Catholic Church.

“The children that we provide scholarships for, we depend on these things,” Beirne added.

The fundraising aspect is one of the main reasons why the festival is moving forward in 2021, but with some slight changes.

In a few more days, the tents and the beer truck (with over 50 of Oktoberfest and local beers) will be set up on the St...

Posted by St. Benedict Oktoberfest on Sunday, September 12, 2021

“We have cleaning stations in the food tents,” Beirne said. “We’re going to disinfect every morning, but if they feel more comfortable washing down the table or chair, then they can certainly do that.”

Additionally, high-touch surfaces like restroom door handles will be regularly disinfected, and organizers will use an electrostatic sprayer in the kids’ area.

“Out of an abundance of caution, no face painting will be performed this year,” organizers said.

While there is no mask mandate for the event, organizers strongly encourage folks to wear one when they are not eating or drinking.

There are also some changes when it comes to the events.

“As far as our stein holding contest, we’re limiting the number of people,” Beirne said. “We’re actually going to have them stand on certain lines in order to keep them socially distanced.”

And while past years have brought in anywhere from 40,000-50,000 people over the course of three days, organizers are asking everyone to be respectful and as safe as possible

“I’m very excited and nervous as well,” Beirne said. “That comes every year, a little bit more this year with the unknowns involved.”

Event hours are as follows:

  • Friday, September 17 4pm-11pm
  • Saturday, September 18 11am-11pm
  • Sunday, September 19 12pm-6pm

For more information, click here.

Please note, this is a separate festival from the indoor “Richmond Oktoberfest” at the Richmond Raceway which was cancelled this year.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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