New site for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will allow streetcar to run normally

CINCINNATI -- Oktoberfest Zinzinnati will celebrate its 40th anniversary at a new location to make way for the city’s new streetcar.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber announced Tuesday the celebration, scheduled for Sept. 16-18, will be moved to Second and Third streets, between Walnut and Elm streets. The streetcar is scheduled to be up and running a week earlier. 

WCPO first broke news that organizers were considering a possible move in June.

Relocating the event from Fifth Street near Fountain Square will allow the streetcar to operate normally, since the celebration's former location would interfere with its route at the intersections of Fifth and Main and Fifth and Walnut streets.

RELATED: Date set for grand opening of Cincinnati Streetcar

Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, said she thinks the location change will only enhance the country’s largest Oktoberfest.

“Without question, this site is an improvement,” Meyer said in a news release. “There’s more room for fest tents, more room for stages, Cincinnati’s streetcar will be up and running and the new location provides a one-of-a-kind view of Cincinnati.”

Moving the event from Fifth Street, the home base for Oktoberfest for almost four decades, was not an easy decision for members of the Chamber.

RELATED: Will Oktoberfest relocate to accommodate streetcar?

The Streetcar and Heritage Events Ordinance, passed by Cincinnati City Council in March, grants event organizers the power to limit or halt streetcar operations for historic and established Downtown and Over-the-Rhine events along its route. The ordinance states that event organizers must submit requests to limit or halt streetcar operations 90 days before the respective events.

According to the ordinance, the Taste of Cincinnati, Findlay Market Opening Day Parade and Flying Pig Marathon also can alter streetcar operations. 

The Chamber submitted a request to halt streetcar operations to City Manager Harry Black on June 13, only to comply with the 90-day time period. In the request, they stated that they did not wish to halt the service provided by the streetcar, and that they were working so the two could co-exist.

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black said he thinks members of the Chamber did just that.

“I want to thank the representatives of the Chamber and other stakeholders who have worked with us and taken advantage of an opportunity to improve the event, which is a win for the whole city,” Black said in Tuesday's news release. 

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WCPO.com/WCPO Insider Entertainment Reporter Brian Mains contributed to this report.

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