Great Northwest Oktoberfest Cancels

The Bavarian festival in Whitefish has been postponed to 2021 amid the pandemic

By Maggie Dresser
Revelers take to the dance floor at the 10th annual Great Northwest Oktoberfest at Smith Fields in Whitefish on Sept. 28, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Officials have canceled the 2020 Great Northwest Oktoberfest amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Social distancing just doesn’t work at Oktoberfest,” Kevin Gartland, the executive director of the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce said in a Facebook post. “Most nights we’ve got 700-plus festival goers who are bumper-to-bumper in the tent … but definitely not keeping their distance.”

More than 7,500 people attended Oktoberfest in 2018.

While the chamber attempted brainstorming ways to keep Oktoberfest safe, “it became clear in recent weeks that Oktoberfest just isn’t in the cards for 2020.”

The eleventh annual Oktoberfest has been postponed to Sept. 23 to 25 and Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 of 2021.

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