COVINGTON, Ky. — Just when it looked like a Covington tradition was in danger, Braxton Brewing Co. is stepping up to remake it and keep celebrating the city’s German roots.
“We felt compelled as a brewery who makes an Oktoberfest beer and celebrates over in Cincinnati that we would take that risk and create Oktoberfest Covington,” said Jake Rouse, Braxton co-founder and CEO.
The new celebration, scheduled for Goebel Park Sept. 6-8, succeeds MainStrasse Oktoberfest, a 30-year event that fell into peril when the MainStrasse Village Association declared bankruptcy last year.
Rouse said he and Braxton just couldn’t let the event slip away.
“Growing up here in Northern Kentucky and going to this Oktoberfest my entire life, it is almost a much a cultural event as it is an event to show off the city,” Rouse said.
“We really wanted to make sure that tradition stays alive.”
He said the time is right to take the festival in a new direction, containing it to Goebel Park, and celebrating the renaissance as well as the roots of the city.
“It's going to be a great opportunity for us to continue to push forward the Renaissance that Covington is experiencing and celebrate everything that’s great about the city that we have,” Rouse said.
That’s good news for Dave Ingalla of Independence, a regular at MainStrasse Oktoberfest.
“It’s really one we never miss,” Ingalla said.
The MainStrasse Village Association blamed bad weather last year for low attendance, which left it more $100,000 in the hole.
“We thought about it when MainStrasse declared bankruptcy, but the reality, we wanted to do our due diligence,” Rouse said.
Rouse understands the challenges.
“There is definitely risk involved here, but I feel really good about it,” he said.
Rouse can count on Ingalla to be there.
“Definitely,” said Ingalla “It’s probably going to be better than ever because there was so many people disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen, and now that it’s happening it’ll probably bring out a bigger crowd.”
As for MainStrasse Village Association’s bankruptcy case, it is nearing an end. Attorney Brian Goldberg, who represents the association, says it likely will be dissolved by the end of the year.
For more information about the festival visit the event Facebook page.