NEW ULM - Despite the problem of gloomy weather and light sprinkling of rain on Saturday, the last day of New Ulm Oktoberfest boasted respectable crowds at all its locations.
The day kicked off in the morning with the new Kiddie Parade inside the Marktplatz Mall. Area children wearing costumes ranging from princesses to Spiderman followed a "Pied Piper" playing an accordion through the main hallway. At the end, winners were selected for categories like Best German Costume. It was held indoors due to concerns about rain that day, though the severe rainfall never showed up.
Despite overcast clouds, the New Ulm Retail Development Corporation still had over 1,000 people turn out for the music and food vendors in the downtown district next to the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce. Event organizers have not yet tallied the money raised, but they're hoping from a range of $4,000 to $5,000 for combined totals of the two weekends of events. The turnout for last weekend was over 2,000 people.
Staff photo by Josh Moniz
Diane Pederson lead the Elk River German Band in a rousing polka song Saturday at the New Ulm Holiday Inn during New Ulm Oktoberfest celebration. Despite cloudy weather, the event and the activities downtown still boasted a respectable crowd.
Terry Sveine, manager of the New Ulm Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), said that they were happy to host the event, regardless of the turnout, because it brought major traffic to New Ulm businesses.
New Ulm Retail and CVB also brought a new element late Friday night by pulling a "prank" by using temporary spray chalk to mark the sidewalks of Minnesota Street and other major businesses with the new city logo they have been promoting. They also applied removable window stickers of the logo to all the cars in the parking lots of New Ulm major hotels. However, a group who applied the markers had a somewhat humorous incident when a State Patrol officer mistook their actions for actual graffiti. After a quick call to the New Ulm Police Department, the situation was resolved with no incident.
Besides the downtown activities, the array of musical performances at the New Ulm Holiday Inn drew a sizable crowd, though it was slightly down from last weekend due to the weather.
"The weather isn't something you can control. So, you just deal with it," said Sveine, "But, considering what we were working with, we had a great day."
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org