Newport Oktoberfest cancelled due to staffing shortage

Planners hope the event is back bigger and better than ever next year.
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Business owners and non-profits have been gearing up for Newport Oktoberfest, but event organizers announced the festival is canceled due to staffing shortages.

Newport Oktoberfest was scheduled for Sept. 24 - 26. Thousands of people usually attend the yearly German celebration.

ColdIron Enterprises Inc. organizes the event. Company reps said the decision to cancel is due to a lack of workers.

The festival’s food booths are typically staffed by local restaurant employees, while the alcohol booths are staffed by volunteers.

“There have been so many issues with staffing. You can go up and down your local street, I’m sure and see restaurants that have had to close or change hours simply because they can’t staff their businesses, and it’s the same thing with these booths,” David Wertheim with ColdIron Enterprises Inc. said.

Volunteers with HART Cincinnati were scheduled to be at the event for fun and fundraising. Now, they are looking for other ways to get out in the community and bring in donations.

“Last year we had no festivals, but the year before that, we, between all of the festivals we volunteered at, we made close to $20,000, which is huge for our animal rescue because we get no federal funding, no state funding, anything like that,” Shari Wyenandt with HART said.

Newport Oktoberfest did not take place in 2020 either due to the pandemic, but those involved with planning the festival have said it will return in 2022, bigger and better than ever.

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