Attendees of Berlin’s first Octoberfest earlier in the month ate enough, drank enough and were merry enough to paint a rosy future for events such as these in the future of the small town.
Indeed, town organizers said the most serious problem was occasionally running out of different supplies. Tables and chairs needed to be brought in from the Berlin Fire Department., and food vendors needed to cover each other when one would make intermittent resupply runs.
Local brewery Burley Oak had a separate issue, but nothing they couldn’t handle. Although the estimated 2,500 people at Octoberfest drank roughly quadruple the amount of beer expected for the event, no incidents were reported.
It’s a good sign for events of this nature, as this was the first event of its type, endorsed by the town and featuring alcohol sales and an intrinsic quality to the festivities.
Some residents and members of the Town Council expressed concerns over whether or not the Town or the Chamber of Commerce should be in the business of selling alcohol.
It paves the way for future events, the forthcoming New Year’s Eve ball drop comes to mind first, where alcohol sales can provide a substantial draw, and indeed, events such as New Year’s Eve parties may suffer for a lack of alcohol sales.
Existing events, such as the Fiddler’s Convention for example, may also have Chamber-sponsored alcohol sales coming in the future.
For the present, Octoberfest may be expanding – a victim of its own successes and even maybe serving as a template for events to come. Planners are already talking about more music, more hours of operation and more activities. Because of the strong family element inherent to many Berlin events, expanded activities for children may also be considered.
The air is of cautious optimism as this town breaks new ground and treads new paths forward for itself. For now, if the biggest problems are too much demand, it could be a rosy future indeed.