Preview of Mt. Angel Oktoberfest

A beloved tradition in the heart of the Willamette Valley is back in full force!

The 57th Annual Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is coming up from September 15 – 18, 2022. Monica Bochsler, Marketing and Public Relations Director of Oktoberfest, joins The Morning Blend to get you excited for this year’s festivities!


September 12, 2022:

August 17, 2022:

Read a summary of the interview below (lightly edited for clarity), or listen to the episode for the full conversation.

David: Good morning, Monica! In your honor, I wore my lederhosen today.

Monica: Good morning, David and Brenda. Great to talk with you! Did you really? I’m super impressed. I haven’t got my dirndl on yet, but there’s still plenty of time for that.

David: I am on your wonderful website right now, and I always love the countdown at the top where it tells you – to the second – how long to Oktoberfest!

So Oktoberfest was back live last year. How did last year go coming off the pandemic?

Monica: Last year was a good year. It was nice and solid. The weather didn’t help us, but you know – the weather was what the weather is!

One of the biggest reasons we held the festival last year was that if we didn’t hold it, there probably would not be a festival this year, or any year going forward. It was truly a financial decision, as well as balancing all of the concerns that we had to manage. Boy, that was stressful! But that makes this year seem so much easier. I just know it’s going be fantastic!

David: Hats off to you guys, because during the pandemic we obviously lost some events, and others had to change. The Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is so popular. So congratulations for being able to keep it going, because it has been such a wonderful activity for 57 years! What a history.

Monica: Yes, we have been doing it a long time! I’ll say that is the key to our successes – that we’ve just grown a little bit every year. Things adjust and change, and we look at it and say: we need to fix that in the infrastructure, our electricity needs to be better over here, how are we going run those shuttles more efficiently – all those kinds of things! It’s something that we are constantly thinking of. When you do it for 50 years, it just gradually gets better and better, so I’m loving it. It is fantastic.

David: I know that the food is such a big part of the Oktoberfest! I’m sure that you have a lot of folks coming into town for it.

Monica: Yes! I think that food is the number one reason that people come. There are people who come for the beer – but everybody comes for the food!

I am super excited that we are welcoming two new food booth this year! The Chesterton Academy of the Willamette Valley, located here in Mt. Angel, is starting up a food booth with crepes! And the Dallas Knights of Columbus are putting in a booth with tacos. So we are super excited to have two new food booths!

Of course there will be the sausages and the sauerkraut. And gosh, I’m sitting here thinking of the fondue in the St. Mary Parish booth! And Catholic Community Services is now doing the one out of the Biergarten. I haven’t checked their menu yet, but if you’re used to finding their food, check for them down in the Biergarten this year.

David: You realize that I haven’t had breakfast yet! And you’re telling me all of this.

Monica: Well, let me keep going! There’s funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos and more.

David: I have got to give a shout out too, because it was my parish growing up: St. Edwards in Keizer is still making their Berliner sandwiches!

Monica: Yes, people were crying when they couldn’t get those in 2020. I believe they did a drive-thru that year, and we tried to help them promote, but it was tough.

David: And I know there is a lot of entertainment, such as in the Festhalle (Biergarten). Talk about some of the activities that you have surrounding Oktoberfest.

Monica: There’s so much going on! But one of the things that I want to make sure people know if you’re one of those hundreds of people who participate in the run every year – we have moved the Road Race to Sunday, starting at JFK High School (not at Humpert Park on Saturday as in previous years).

Also, the Wiener Dog Races will be back again this year on Saturday, and we have the car show on Saturday and Sunday.

I always want to make sure that people know that there are plenty of things to do at Mt. Angel Oktoberfest for free. As you look at the schedule, anything in the Biergarten, Weingarten, and Alpinegarten will require you to purchase a wristband, but everything else on that list is free for you to participate in.

We are super excited about the Kindergarten for the kids! We’ve got the train coming back, have added to it, and managed to get a steam-powered train. So the kids can go for a train ride with a steam-powered train this year! So I’m looking forward to that.

Brenda: Hey Monica! Brenda here. Let me ask you a question. I’m really very sad and embarrassed to say that in all the years I’ve lived up here, I have not made it to Oktoberfest and Mt. Angel. So hearing from your experience, I will do my best to get down there! What’s that insider knowledge that a first-timer should heed if they’re heading down this year for the first time, and the “do-not-misses” that we need to get on our list?

Monica: I’ve got one that comes to the top of my mind right away: the Alphorns by Salzberger Echo in the St. Mary Church. When they play their 12-foot Alphorns in the church, with those acoustics that are just made for music, it is really incredible. There’ll be a performance on Friday and Saturday in the Church, so check the schedule for times. That is one I wouldn’t miss!

If you have a young family, I would definitely try to catch the Kid’s Polka Party with the Astorgas. It will be in the Biergarten on Saturday and Sunday, and it is wonderful! Tecie Astorga (who has been a member of Z-Musikmakers forever and grew up doing music), her husband, and their four kids put together a show with sing-along songs from the Sound of Music and things like that. Then they have some polka and fun on the dance floor with bubble machines and balloons. That’s been a really nice addition!

And Brenda, don’t miss the food! Pick up a guide, look at the menu, and figure out where you need to go.

Brenda: Oh, I will come hungry for sure!

David: And there’s always plenty of parking too, right?

Monica: Yes, we have parking and shuttles. When you pull into one of our lots, it will cost you $10 for the day, but then you can jump on a shuttle and it will run you all over the place.

Another thing I want to share with people is that the shuttles to the Mt. Angel Abbey are back! So maybe go check out the hilltop. Maybe join the monks in prayer – I put that on the schedule!

David: The 57th Annual Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is coming up September 15 – 18, right around the corner. Monica, we’ll catch up with you again before the event!

Monica: Thank you, David and Brenda!

Find all the information you need at! Be sure to follow Mater Dei Radio on Facebook and Instagram during Oktoberfest weekend for on-the-street coverage of the event!