ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - You'll have to go somewhere else for polka music and bratwurst this October. Soulard is cancelling this year's Oktoberfest.
Festival organizer John McKinstry Jr., who launched the annual party in 2004, had been plagued by financial instability and lawsuits over the last few years.
According to reports in The Riverfront Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McKinstry settled a lawsuit with American Express in 2012 on a $57,000 debt spread over three different credit cards. Capital One Bank sued McKinstry in an attempt to reclaim approximately $39,000 owed on two credit cards. Local companies have also taken McKinstry and his wife, an attorney, to court over longstanding debts.
A statement posted to the organization's website states:
The Soulard Oktoberfest Benevolent Association (SOBA) will postpone its 2016, 13th annual festival, which has been held every second weekend in October since 2004. SOBA’s Board of the Directors took the decision to postpone the festival for one year in light of the need to bring the costs of running the event in line with the revenues. SOBA has been seeking to take the festival to a location in the Soulard area better suited for the number of attendees. However, it will not happen in 2016 and the Board has made a responsible decision to skip the event this year.
More information: http://soulardoktoberfest.org/
Here are pictures from the 2015 Soulard Oktoberfest: