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Cape Coral’s Oktoberfest postponed

German American Club hopes to hold the annual celebration early next year

July 1, 2020
By CJ HADDAD ( , Pine Island Eagle

Another of the largest events in Southwest Florida that calls Cape Coral home has been postponed.

Oktoberfest, put on each year by the German American Social Club of Cape Coral, has been pushed to early next year, potentially, due to concerns over COVID-19.

The GASC Board of Directors hope this event can come back safely in the first quarter of next year, according to their website.

"This was not an easy decisions and our Board wrestled with it, but ultimately, in these uncertain times, the health and safety of our members and the community weigh more heavily," said GASC President Stephen Bauer, in a statement. "We are carefully following the guidance from our government officials in our decision-making going forward. We are really looking forward to inviting our community back for some schunkeling, chicken dances, and to enjoy a brat and a beer with us, but until then, we ask that everyone stay safe."

The event has been a staple for 34 years in the city, drawing tens of thousands from around the state and around the world to the Bavarian Garden grounds, where beer is plentiful and music rings out over three days of jubilation, creating an authentic German Oktoberfest atmosphere.

They also invite an authentic band from Germany each year, which would be virtually impossible due to restrictions on travel in place due to coronavirus.

A statement on the GASC website reads, "Our annual Oktoberfest has been postponed this year as concerns about the spread of coronavirus continues and in accordance with the large gathering directive from Governor DeSantis. In these uncertain times, the health and safety of our members and community weigh heavily in all decisions made and we are hopefully to safely bring this event back in the first quarter of next year."

Officials at the GASC said more information would be available on the event in the coming days.

Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello weighed in on the club's decision, calling it the right one.

"Oktoberfest is a premier event in our city. However, based on the current CDC guidelines and health environment, I support all organizations and businesses taking steps to keep citizens safe," Coviello said. "Oktoberfest draws participants from all over the world. The decision made by our community partner the German American Club to postpone this marquee event is in the best interest of our city."

Oktoberfest is just one of a slew of events that have been cancelled in recent weeks due to coronavirus concerns.

The German American Club is located on Pine Island Road, east of Matlacha, in Cape Coral. The club is host to a number of local celebrations/activities, including the islands' MangoMania festival, which has also been cancelled.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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