Manteno Oktoberfest canceled

Festival goers enjoy a ride at the 2018 Manteno Oktoberfest. This year’s event has been canceled, with Manteno Chamber of Commerce officials citing major restrictions by the state placed on festivals and events.

MANTENO — The Manteno Chamber of Commerce has canceled the 23rd annual Manteno Oktoberfest scheduled for Sept. 25-27, with Chamber officials citing major restrictions by the state on festivals and events as the cause for the cancellation.

“Unanimously, the Chamber of Commerce Board, the village and Manteno PD agreed that there are no viable alternatives to make the traditional Oktoberfest 2020 a reality,” read a press release on Thursday. “With much sadness and some tears, Manteno Oktoberfest 2020 is canceled.”

The annual Garage Days set for Sept. 25 to 27 and the lighted golf cart parade on Sept. 26 will continue as planned.

One restriction of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan that played a major role in the decision is the fact the Department of Labor’s Amusements Division is not inspecting amusement attractions. In addition, the release quoted the Illinois liquor control commissioner as saying, “General admission public gatherings are not permitted in Phase 4. Therefore, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission will not issue a special event retail liquor license for events anticipating general admission gatherings.”

The Manteno Oktoberfest is the village’s marquee event that helps fund civic and philanthropic organizations.

“Not having Manteno Oktoberfest means not allowing these organizations to give back and pay it forward in the same manner they have in the past,” said Sarah Marion, president & CEO of the Manteno Chamber. “We are undoubtedly disappointed for this and for many other reasons.”

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