Directors say change at Oktoberfest doesn't seem to hurt beer sales

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 10/20/2013 12:27 am Published: 10/19/2013 10:50 pm

Oktoberfest is a tradition for many Tulsans, but this year’s German festival made some changes to tradition.

Some changes have been popular, while others still have people complaining.

Beer is the sole reason many people come to Oktoberfest.

“Different beers, different brands … it’s great,” one attendee told FOX23.

This year came a big change though. FOX23 first told you this summer that the festival would no longer offer pitchers of beer, but instead steins.

“I miss the pitchers.  I’m more of a pitcher drinker,” another attendee said.

While the steins seemed to cause a ton of controversy in the Tulsa community, festival directors told FOX23 beer sales don’t seem to be down.

Half of the order, 15,000 steins, have been sold and that’s despite a slow day Friday due to weather.

“They seem to be a hit, and so it’s panned out very well,” River Parks Authority community relations director Tonja Carigg told FOX23.

The Tulsa Police Department is on board with the decision.

“You’re allowed to get two servings at a time, so in the past it was two 64 ounces,” Skipper Bain said. “Now it’s only 32 ounces. They’ve cut the consumption of each serving in half.”

Bain believes this has helped for a smoother Oktoberfest.

He told FOX23 TPD has made no drunken related arrests as of yet.

That’s even with the festival keeping gates open later -- until 1:30 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.

It was a change management wanted to try.

“We’re trying to come up with a different element that is authentic to Germany, the European disco,” Carigg said.

And one TPD says has actually effected traffic in a good way.

“We have this trickle effect. Some people leave 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and others from 12:30 to 1:30 a.m.,” Bain said.

People FOX23 spoke with at Oktoberfest are split on the beer container controversy. Some are still very upset, others say it’s not as big of a deal as they thought it would be.

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Unwashed Mass - 10/21/2013 2:56 PM
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ABLE is winning the War On Tourism.
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