PUYALLUP, Wash. – In the current COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State Fair staff have said they are confident Oktoberfest Northwest will be a safe and enjoyable experience based on the success of the Fair. State.
“We did it without any epidemics. We are so proud to be the biggest event that made it safe. So it’s commendable to everyone we work with – our part-time staff and very honestly our guests. We have to thank our people who come to join us and help us follow the mandate, keeping those masks, trying to keep their distance when possible “, said Stacy Van Horne, public relations manager for the Washington State Fair.
According to the Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health, no cases of COVID-19 have been traced to the Washington State Fair. Van Horne said his team expects Oktoberfest, another big event, to see the same healthy results. Much like the fair, they partnered with the health department to offer a COVID-19 vaccine and a test booth at Oktoberfest.
“It’s important for us to partner with the health department to keep people safe at all of our big events. Just to have different options for people,” Van Horne said.
This year’s Oktoberfest is all about going back to tradition. It’s the first time in two years that people have come together to celebrate West Washington’s biggest Oktoberfest. The festival kicked off on Friday afternoon with people already lined up for some authentic German food.
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“We were excited when we saw the people coming here! We say, “Oh, look at this! The weather is beautiful and people have started to queue. And we’ve even sold two bratwursts already, ”laughed Krystyna Tomascewska from Bruno’s German & Polish Restaurant. “We missed it and our guests. They come to greet us and want to show us: ‘Oh, here I am Bruno!’ Our restaurant patrons. This is all so exciting. “
“Oh my God! He loves all German food, so there’s no doubt it’s got sauerkraut on it,” said Theresa Whinemore, who was attending Oktoberfest Northwest for the first time with her family.
While the spirit of the festival is the same, it looks and feels different from before due to the pandemic. Face coverings are mandatory unless eating or drinking, and tables are spaced out. Staff distribute free masks to those in need.
“For us it’s all about mental health too. People have been locked in, they are looking for things to do and we are happy to be here to provide them with that,” said Van Horne.
Health department officials said they recognize more and more important fall events are to come. They said this was one more reason for people to keep their masks regardless of their immunization status, especially since the state allows up to 10,000 people for large indoor gatherings and no capacity limits. at outdoor events.
“We keep our masks on and disinfect a lot, especially for children. They’re always grippy. We also try to keep our distance from people because they like to keep that space,” Whinemore said.
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