VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The mayor of Valdosta is tapping the keg, a German tradition to initiate the start of Oktoberfest at Georgia Beer Company in Valdosta.
This event brings tourists from all over the region, helping the local economy.
Due to the pandemic, a lot of community events like this had to be put on hold, hurting the local economy. Valdosta’s mayor said events like this are helpful to the community.
"This year they are even more because last year we did 930 events in our downtown and we’re playing catch up this year. So we are going to go all out for any event that comes along this year, especially something like Oktoberfest, " said Mayor Scott James Matheson.
He says the Georgia Beer Company is a tourist destination.
“People actually map out breweries to travel to and it’s a destination believe it or not,” said Matheson.
Matheson says they hope to bring as much foot traffic as possible.
More visitors mean more revenue to businesses in the area. Helping hotels, shops, and restaurants that have struggled through the pandemic.
Chris Jones, one of the owners and director of business development at Georgia Brewery Company tells me it’s something different people can enjoy.
Those who had their travel plans ruined by COVID-19, can come and get a taste of Germany.
“Especially with the travel restrictions on COVID, maybe there were people that planned to go to Germany for Oktoberfest or Helen, Georgia for Oktoberfest and they don’t feel comfortable traveling. Now right in their own backyard, they can have a good German Oktoberfest with us,” said Jones.
This is the second annual Oktoberfest held at the brewery, where they will be bringing German tradition to Valdosta with German food, beer and music.
For safety concerns, there will be outdoor seating, everything spread out and sanitizer available.
Oktoberfest will be taking place until Oct. 4.