Magazine article Public Management

Oktoberfest Becomes Reality through Public-Private Partnership

Magazine article Public Management

Oktoberfest Becomes Reality through Public-Private Partnership

Article excerpt

In the spring of 1992, Livingston, Montana's, city council approved work on a city-hosted arts and crafts fair that would raise money for new furnishings for Livingston's civic center. During a time of reduced revenues and increased service demands, funds were not allocated to upgrade the civic center. The idea of a city-hosted festival was a good interim measure.

As the city's staff formulated plans for the festival, the idea of calling it a community Oktoberfest came to be. This concept was well received in an area that thrives on summer tourism and winter ski enthusiasts. Oktoberfest was the perfect event to fill the void between summer and ski season. Promotion of this idea brought rave reviews from citizens and vendors. As plans progressed, local merchants were so enthused about the fall community celebration that they invested money for advertising, promotion, and enlarging the scope of the event.

The site of the Oktoberfest, still in the planning stages, was moved from the civic center on one side of town to the heart of Livingston, on the streets. After receiving pledges of cooperation from local businesses, the state highway department permitted Livingston to close the main thoroughfare through its downtown. The city also closed adjacent streets to provide spaces for vendors' tables, as well as to provide a safe, walking-mall environment.

Staff hired live bands and rented big-top tents. Regional beverage vendors contributed with advertising and banners, and offered other support. …

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