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Oktoberfest Will Look Different in Covington this Weekend

Changes are in store for one of Northern Kentucky's biggest parties.

Oktoberfest returns to Covington's Mainstrasse Village this weekend, Friday through Sunday, and will continue to build on the changes that started at Maifest in the spring.

The Mainstrasse Village Association, which has seen significant change in how that organization operates in the past year, is changing the festivals to focus more on the city and the neighborhood.

The biggest visual change will be the food, beer, and vendor booths. Throughout the festivals' history, those booths have had their backs to the businesses and homes in Mainstrasse Village, cutting them off from the spirit of the festivities. This year, the tents will be turned around to show off the neighborhood's architecture, heritage, and sights.

Main Street, between 5th and 7th Streets, will be closed all weekend to show off the area, the Mainstrasse Village Association (MSVA) said. The change allows the Main Street businesses to partake in the festival more directly with displays on the corridor.

Kinderplatz, the area for kids and families in Goebel Park, will include more rides from Kissel Brothers and other family-oriented activities. Circus Mojo returns with shows throughout each day, along with a fire show on Saturday night.

There will be tours of the Carroll Chimes Clock Tower, and the Tower Legacy Foundation will expand the hours for such tours so that guests can take a rare glimpse inside the Covington icon.

The 2017 Oktoberfest includes a renewed focus on Covington and Northern Kentucky-based businesses, the MSVA said. Braxton Brewing Company will sell Covington-based brews at the Main Stage, which it sponsors, as well as the Biergarten. Bircus Brewing Company, in association with Circus Mojo, will be selling its locally-brewed beers. Villa Hillbillies and Second Sight Spirits will also be selling cocktails crafted with moonshine distilled in Northern Kentucky.

Many food and craft favorites will also return to the festival area, too.

Entertainment Lineup

Braxton Brewing Stage on Main Street

Friday, 5-7:30 p.m.: Tickled Pink (Rock)
Friday, 8-10:30 p.m.: Krystal Peterson & the Queen City Band (Soul)
Saturday, 1-3 p.m.: Ed Wilbers & Kyle Knapp (Acoustic Rock)
Saturday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.: Jeff Henry & the Necessary Evils (Roots Rock)
Saturday, 6-8 p.m.: Model Behavior (Classic Rock)
Saturday, 8:30-10:30 p.m.: The Newbees (Rock)
Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m.: Kryst Kruer (Ukelele)
Sunday, 3-5 p.m.: Carole Walker (Folk Rock)
Sunday, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Pete Dressman (Roots Rock)

Kentucky Ale Stage in Goebel Park

Friday, 6-10:30 p.m.: Festmeisters (German)
Saturday, 1-3 p.m.: Miss Joanie (Children)
Saturday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.: Jody & Sammy Stapleton (Folk)
Saturday, 6-7 p.m.: Cincinnati Donauschwaben German Dancers (German)
Saturday, 7:15-10:30 p.m.: Festmeisters (German)
Sunday 1-4 p.m.: Festmeisters (German)
Sunday, 4:30-7:30 p.m.: Die Vereins-Musikanten (German)

Remembering Mick Noll and Mark Brawley

Mick Noll, a champion of German celebrations in Covington and the region, passed away last year. In May, his family talked about the bittersweet celebration of the first Maifest without him.

The MSVA is going a step farther to honor Noll, by changing the event's logo to serve as a tribute to "Mr. Oktoberfest". There will be a special remembrance of him at the opening ceremony, which starts with a parade on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Local artist Mark Brawley, whose prolific and often quirky work was seen all over the Village and Covington, also passed away last year. The annual chalk art contest during Oktoberfest is being renamed in his honor. It starts Saturday at 1 p.m.


The MSVA is also rolling out two new beer steins. One of them in a traditional Oktoberfest plastic highlighting the participating businesses, and the other is a limited edition ceramic stein that is Village-themed.


The 39th annual Oktoberfest - sponsored this year by The Sullivan University Center for Learning - Northern Kentucky - begins Friday at 5 p.m. (with a parade at 6:30 p.m. and an opening ceremony at 7 p.m.) and runs till 11 p.m. that night. On Saturday the festival runs from noon to 11 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.


-Staff report