Our Oktoberfest History

Claire Combs, Staff Writer

It’s 1810 in Munich, Germany. Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausens and the Prince of Bavaria have married and the first of thousands of two-week celebrations, called Oktoberfest, have happened. 

Because of the migration of the people in Germany to many different places, the Oktoberfest has spread around the world, including our small town. Seymour, with its strong German heritage, takes our celebration seriously. With numerous food booths, a biergarten, a carnival, and live performances of all kinds, people from all over Indiana and elsewhere flock to Seymour to experience this three-day fall festival. Being the main event on the first weekend in October, Oktoberfest also brings other fun events such as the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon Race, baby contest, the Oktoberfest Parade, and the talent show.

Starting in 1972, Tom Fetting and Opal Fosbrink along with mayor Chris Moritz worked to create Seymour’s own Oktoberfest. One year later, the first ever Oktoberfest in Jackson County was celebrated. Since then, 49 Oktoberfests have been celebrated in the crossroads of Kastanienstrabe (Chestnut Street) and Zweite Strabe (Second Street), with the attendance rate and the number of Zion Lutheran’s apple dumplings consumed growing every year. Kendra Zumhingst, Chairman of the Board, commented that “vendors haven’t all reported, but ones that have are showing great increases [from previous years].” She also agreed that this year’s Oktoberfest “was the first year I can remember in many years that Mother Nature gave us amazing weather the entire festival!”

Oktoberfest returns for its 50th year on October 5, 6, and 7, 2023. Prost!