Lagers and lederhosen: Oktoberfest in Lawrence returns with safety measures


Because outdoor events are deemed safer than indoor events with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, the third annual Lagers in Lawrence Oktoberfest is still a go. It is from 3 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Civic Plaza in Lawrence.

Indiana on Tap founder Justin Knepp said the craft beer marketing and events company is excited to conduct an event in 2020. Safety measures will be in place.

“The majority of all of our events have been canceled,” said Knepp, a Fishers resident. “We are excited to be putting events on again. We are in a unique position to pull this off because we have a great relationship with the breweries and distilleries. We have submitted our safety plans to the county health department, and we’ve had glowing reviews.”

The outdoor beer fest will be in Lawrence’s Civic Plaza, an outdoor park. Knepp said the footprint of the event will be expanded to allow for social distancing, and fewer tickets will be sold than in previous years. Face coverings will be required for anyone entering or exiting, but attendees are not required to wear them the entire time. Once they are inside and can socially distance, they may remove their mask. There also will be five hand sanitizer stations, extra hand-washing stations, and vendors will only serve touchless pours of alcohol samples.

“It’s really not that hard. Instead of the brewery taking the tasting cup out of the person’s hand and filling it, we will instead have pitchers,” Knepp said. “So, we will still be pouring draft beer, but we are pouring into the pitcher and then pouring that directly into each person’s tasting cup or stein so no one has to touch the tasting cup of the attendee, except for the attendee.”

Attendees can bring their own beer steins, which will allow for larger pours. All attendees will receive an Oktoberfest alpine hat.

“We want to get people in the Oktoberfest spirit, so that’s what we’re planning to do,” Knepp said.

Knepp said a wide variety of beers will be available for tasting. Between 20 and 25 breweries, wineries and distilleries are expected to participate.

“We try to make it clear the name Lagers in Lawrence is great and fun, but all beer styles are going to be there,” Knepp said.

In addition to beer samples, a 15-piece German Oktoberfest band and a German dance group will perform.

“The event will be very similar to last year,” Knepp said. “This is the third year for the event, and we saw nice growth and attendance last year for Year 2 over Year 1. I think this is going to be one of the only Oktoberfests taking place in Indy this year.”

Advance sale tickets can be purchased online at Prices range from $45 for VIP, $35 for general admission and $20 for designated drivers. A portion of proceeds will be donated to a charity of the City of Lawrence’s choice. A recipient has not yet been announced.

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More safety outdoors

Indiana on Tap founder Justin Knepp said the upcoming Lagers in Lawrence event will be safe for attendees, largely because it will be conducted outdoors.

“We are very confident the event is going to be as safe as possible,” Knepp said. “The county health department was very impressed with the safety plans we submitted for these events.”

Although ticket sales are limited, Knepp said they are selling fast.

“People are eager to get out again, it seems like,” he said.

Knepp expects tickets will sell out before the event.


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