Oldstoberfest coming back — but not until 2017

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GM says organizers need time to make sure Bavarian rodeo is a success

Oldstoberfest, billed by organizers as the world’s first Bavarian rodeo, is coming back to Olds – but not until 2017.

The event, held in late September last year, is a partnership between Olds College, Olds Regional Exhibition and the Pomeroy Inn & Suites through Range Road Events.

It brought rodeo back to Olds for the first time in years and was held in conjunction with several other events, including the Communities in Bloom Harvest Festival, A Taste of Uptowne Olds, as well as a barbecue near the Royal Bank, staged by the chamber of commerce.

The rodeo, featuring competitors and ladies in Bavarian costume, was sanctioned by Pro Rodeo Canada and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The announcement to hold Oldstoberfest biennially (every two years) was made late last week.

It will be held in late September, just like last year’s first edition. It will follow the same format, with a Bavarian-themed rodeo. The same partners (listed above) will be involved again as well.

Oldstoberfest general manager Gillian Shields says the decision not to hold Oldstoberfest this year was made for a couple of reasons.

One issue is the economy. It’s tough right now and organizers felt holding it too soon (i.e. this year) might be difficult for potential sponsors.

“What’s happened in the past year has affected a lot of businesses and from that sense, we just decided we didn’t want to put any pressure on any organizations that we were involved with,” she told the Albertan.

Secondly, organizers wanted lots of time to plan the next event and make sure it’s a success.

“Nothing’s changed; just we’re running it as a biennial event just to be careful,” Shields said.

“We want longevity for the event; we want sustainability for the event and so we decided to put it as a biennial event at this point. As we move forward, who knows? It could become an annual event, but we know that we need to be careful,” she added.

“This allows us to have more time and just to make the event more successful as we keep moving forward.”

There’s no guarantee the economy will be any better in 2017; in fact, economists are saying it may be years before oil rebounds to $80 or $100.

“I guess we’ll find out,” Shields said. “But at least at this point it gives us a 20-month period to plan. This just allows us to not be scrambling, to make sure the event is organized, sponsorship-wise as well.”

Shields said organizers announced the plan to come back because they were getting questions as to when it would be staged again.

“I think there were a lot of questions if Oldstoberfest was going to be happening in 2016,” she says. We just wanted to make everybody aware that we were coming back.

“We did have a really successful year and we just wanted everybody to know that we’re coming back for 2017.”

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

Nothing’s changed; just we’re running it as a biennial event just to be careful,” Shields said.”We want longevity for the event; we want sustainability for the event.”GILLIAN SHIELDS GM OLDSTOBERFEST

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.