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Many at Oktoberfest visited other businesses
Survey sheds light on Oktoberfest

 Fairuz Maggio pays for her beer stein when she enters Oktoberfest last month on Caroline Street.
FILE/Marie Sicola/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/19/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

About three-quarters of the people who responded to an informal survey conducted at last month's outdoor Oktoberfest event in downtown Fredericksburg said they visited other shops or restaurants while there.

Harvey Gold conducted the survey on behalf of Fredericksburg's Department of Economic Development and Tourism. One-hundred people were surveyed at the Sept. 29 event between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

About 10,000 people attended the fourth-annual Oktoberfest put on by Capital Ale House. A fifth event is planned next year, assuming the city approves it.

Some downtown merchants have objected to closing the 800 and 900 blocks of Caroline Street for the event, saying it hurts their business. Other businesses have supported Oktoberfest, saying it brings energy and people downtown.

Among the other findings in Gold's survey were:

Only two people said they encountered any issues with security.

Eleven people said the wait times to get food and a drink or enter the event were too long.

Just three people described their parking experience that day as "difficult."

Almost everyone surveyed said that they had visited downtown Fredericksburg previously, and that they planned to return downtown.

The full results can be found on the Business Browser blog on fredericks burg.com.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com