He’s the man who rolls out the barrels for America’s largest Oktoberfest: This month’s Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. He also puts the foodstuffs into the yearly Taste of Cincinnati, the music into the Union Centre Bash and a host of other monumental events.
He’s Todd Bucher, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s director of the Downtown Council.
“I’m going on 10 years,” observes the ebullient Bucher of his involvement with the legendary Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati.
Now comes a critical question for Bucher: Why the heck is Oktoberfest held in September? And why isn’t it called Sektemberfest?
“There is an historical answer to that question. It’s tied to the original Oktoberfest in Munich, which is traditionally held the third full weekend of September,” Bucher explains. “The Munich Oktoberfest goes back to 1810 and the wedding celebration of Prince Ludwig.”
Munich’s beer blast starts in September and goes for two weeks, so it stretches into October and heralds the fall harvest. That’s actually why so many American Oktoberfests are held in the “S” month, because they are trying to be as authentic as possible, he adds.
And what about the bad rap many Oktoberfests take, that they’re merely an excuse to guzzle beer? Times they are a changin’, apparently. In an attempt to lose the tawdry image as a massive brewfest, Oktoberfest is catering to the entire family with kids attractions.
“We offer a lot for families,” Bucher notes. “There’s all the food, 40 some food booths, rides, and entertainment.”
That said, even Bucher’s colleague — Raymond “Buz” Buse III, public relations manager for Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati — concedes that at the original Munich bash, “They drink like fishes.”