No tapping of the Golden Keg this year? No Maple Leaf or Torchlight Parade? No “Swing Crew” on the stage in the main tent with 3k of your closest friends?
Nope. It sure will be strange.
But if you think people aren’t going to find other ways to “Fest” you’d be way wrong. My social media feeds are filled with all kinds of people making alternate plans. Some are having small gatherings in their yards, bands playing on patios, and some are even tapping “Golden Cans”.
Everyone’s definition of “Fest” is different. For real. A lot of events in La Crosse draw people from all over but Oktoberfest is the only one where people will go home and brag about it to their friends without even having stepped foot on the Oktoberfest grounds or attended a single parade.
“So what did you do this weekend?”
Would anyone ever answer that with, “I went to Riverfest in La Crosse!” unless they actually stepped foot on the grounds? (Some people don’t think it counts unless you’ve had Rocky’s cheese curds)
“I went to Beer Wine and Cheese Fest” but they really just spent half of an afternoon eating tacos at Fish’s Bar?
Nope. But if you were in La Crosse during Oktoberfest doing ANYTHING…. you were “Festing”.
So back to those “Golden Cans”.
Around 1987ish, Mike Kearns and Charlie Hefti spray painted some beer cans and tapped them on the Friday morning of Oktoberfest at the WKTY studios near Goose Island. It’s been done ever year since. In 1987 they started doing it at Sloopy’s. If you get there early enough, you score one of the limited edition cans and everyone taps them together.
There’s a slight adjustment for “Covid 2020”.
People can sign up to hopefully be selected to have 2 of the cans delivered to their door. This year’s plan is to tap them at 11am when we should be tapping the Golden KEG at Oktoberfest. Our crew spent time yesterday getting them all wrapped. Sign up now and they might be delivering a couple to you!
Keep your distance and have a fun and safe Oktoberfest.
It may be way different than you’re used to, but it’s still Oktoberfest.