Oktoberfest is back in full swing after DABC decision

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Oktoberfest won’t be a Sober Fest this year.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control wasted little time to approve permits for Snowbirds 42nd Annual Oktoberfest.

The major question was how does Oktoberfest benefits the community?

“This does meet the standard of community good so I move for approval,” said DABC Commissioner Jeff Wright.

For weeks Utah has been in national news because of questions about whether the permit for Oktoberfest should be approved

“We are in a little bit of a gray area because the law is vague. And it is purposely vague to allow discretion trying to figure out what serves the community good. I think Oktoberfest serves the community good,” Wright added.

“Oktoberfest is really a cultural celebration. It is important to the state of Utah and it is important to Snowbird,” says Tom Jones, Senior Vice President of Snowbird.

Commissioner Wright and the other commissioners at the DABC unanimously approved the license.

“We are not going to have a definitive rule that covers everybody,” the commissioner added. “There is going to be discretion of the commission and the staff to say this fits this doesn’t seem like it.”

The commission said they would do it all over again for the public discussion.

“I’m sorry that it certainly became world wide attention and Oktoberfest felt that they are going to be denied. I would not go back and not have a discussion,” said Wright.

Snowbird's Senior Vice President says there is no ill will towards the commission, “They are just looking at their rules and [regulations]. They have a job to do too.”

It's a decision that will allow Snowbird's second biggest event to continue as planned.

“We have some new rides at Snowbird. We have our new mountain coaster that is open so there will be a lot of events,” said Jones. “Last year it was so popular we had to open a second stage for entertainment because so many people attended.”

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