Oktoberfest returns to Jefferson City's Old Munichburg District
JEFFERSON CITY - The Old Munichburg district of Jefferson City celebrated its German roots Saturday during its 15th annual Oktoberfest.
"Over half the population of Jefferson City has German roots," historian Walter Schroeder said.
Schroeder has been involved with the festival since it started in 2000 and grew up on the south side of Jefferson City in what is now known as Old Munichburg.
Schroeder said the Germans who settled in Jefferson City came largely in the 1940s-1950s.
"Some of the first German immigrants to settle this side of German city were from a town called Münchberg and the name was eventually corrupted into Munichburg," Schroeder said.
The two-day festival features authentic German activities as well as a street fair filled with an array of vendors and activities. The festivities kicked off Friday night with a traditional German dinner followed by polka music and dancing.
On Saturday there was a keg tapping by Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin to mirror traditional festival practices like those in Munich.
The event itself is held on the old grounds of the Capitol Brewery that was once a major employer in the city. The historic wooden keg used in this year's keg taping was a keg from the old brewery.
The most popular of all the events though is the dachshund derby. Dachshund is a German dog breed and means "badger hound" in English.
For those interested in donning their lederhosen or dirndls, there is also a costume contest.
A delegation from Jefferson City's German sister city Münchberg will be in attendance next year to partake in the festival.