Kenner — Kenner residents and officials are preparing for an explosion of cabbage, beef and, of course, beer as Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest kicks off in Rivertown Friday.
The annual celebration of German culture is taking place in Kenner for the second year in a row. Deutsches Haus is still searching for a permanent home for the event after losing its longtime location in New Orleans last year to the construction of the University Medical Center.
The group moved its operations to Metairie, but that location is too small for the celebration, according to the group’s website. Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni said he is thrilled to have the group in Kenner and wants to convince organizers that there is no need to ever return to New Orleans.
Yenni touted Kenner’s ability to snag the event as proof that the city’s reputation in the metropolitan area is growing. Yenni is even set to tap the first keg at the event.
“We have a lot going on,” Yenni said. “I want them to keep coming here.”
Ray Sutherlin, advertising and media consultant for Deutsches Haus, said that Deutsches Haus still plans to rebuild in New Orleans but hasn’t decided where the festival will be located moving forward.
Kenner has an excellent shot to convince the group to continue to come back, he said.
Sutherlin said that given the size of the festival, which draws about 15,000 visitors, there were only a few locations that could handle it.
Kenner was by far the easiest to work with, particularly because Rivertown is city-owned.
“We absolutely love the way Kenner has opened its arms to us,” Sutherlin said. “They’ve been great to us.”
Oktoberfest continues for the final three weekends in October from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays at 415 Williams Blvd.
Admission is $6, and this year’s festival will feature an all-Corvette car show Saturday and dachshund racing Oct. 20.