WHEATLAND – The Platte County Chamber which sponsors Oktoberfest each year had things all ready for this year’s celebration of German cuisine, beer and songs to roll out the barrel didn’t expect the second wave of COVID to rear its ugly head in Platte County.
But it did. And with a sense of safety and caution, the event was canceled due to COVID. Not many were surprised as closings this year due to the pandemic were commonplace.
A group of people from the community quickly amassed and began preparations to keep the tradition alive, even if it wouldn’t be held downtown.
Myrle and Birgit Ingle of Rafter MB quarter horses arena and event center and also now the proprietors of the new restaurant, Arena BBQ, who were to be instrumental in providing food for the downtown event, suddenly had a lot of food due to the cancellation.
In hopes of keeping the celebration, the Ingles donated their arena and all the food for the event. Chugwater Chili also was there as well as My Gettin’ Place which featured custom woodwork creations, WYbabies which featured custom jewelry and clothing and Kimberly Ludeman who featured goat cheeses, soap and many other things. One of the entertainers was Bradley Matthews who is a local singing cowboy and songwriter and who put many people on the dancefloor to his music.
Between 400-500 people came out to eat schnitzels and sausage, chili and of course drank the beverage of choice for Oktoberfest, which was of course, beer – all which were free of charge to those attending the event.
A drive-up service was also available to those who wanted to attend, and sample the food, but were cautious due to the Wyoming State Health Department warnings.