Oktoberfest implementing new security measures, including metal detection

Every festgoer entering the front gate will go through metal detection screening; no large bags are allowed

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Some new security measures are being put in place for Oktoberfest Thursday-Sunday.

Everyone will need to go through metal detection screening at the front gate, so be prepared to get your phones and keys out.

Large bags, including backpacks, will not be allowed inside the fest grounds.

For those festing or not, people in La Crosse are feeling mixed regarding Oktoberfest’s new security protocols.

“Well it’s nice to know that they’re taking security into effect,” UW-La Crosse junior Nathan Farrington said. “Everybody wants a safe and fun time.”

“I think it’s overkill,” La Crosse resident Julie Keitel said. “They should be more focused on making sure people are safe and not catching COVID.”

Oktoberfest President Kelly Wilde says the new measures are there to keep people as safe as possible.

“Any kind of large event is doing a lot more with security just because it’s the world we live in,” Wilde said.

Small purses and bags are allowed inside the grounds, but they will be inspected first.

Security will be looking for weapons, alcohol, food and glassware.

Wilde says people bringing in weapons and alcohol to the fest grounds hasn’t been an issue for security in the past.

“Once in a while, you might get one or two that come in,” Wilde said.

He says even with these new security measures, it shouldn’t take much longer for festgoers to enter the grounds.

“This all goes really quick,” Wilde said. “Our security will have 10 lanes that are coming in.”

Some think COVID safety should be more of the focus.

“I think that’s more of a risk than a terrorist attack,” Keitel said.

But tightened security has become the norm, even for La Crosse’s biggest event.

Oktoberfest recommends mask wearing and distancing whenever possible.

It has also tripled the amount of hand sanitizing stations for this year.

If you test positive or feel under the weather, you are encouraged to stay home.

Oktoberfest leaders say they have expanded the size of the festing area to allow for more spacing this year.

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