APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – For the first time since 2019, Octoberfest is coming back to Appleton, and restaurant owners are getting ready to serve the large crowds.

Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to attend the event, so naturally, local businesses are expecting to be swamped.

Co-owner of Sal’s Pizza Valbona Elmazi says, “I think Mile of Music helped us get prepared for what’s to come with Octoberfest. Eventually, we’ll get to a point where there’s a line out the door and we’ll have to roll with it.”

Some restaurant owners were concerned about being tight on staff. Wooden Nickel owner Tony Mueller says, “The schedule is filled out, so I’m always looking to hire, but right now, it’s hard to get people that want to work.”

While they understand this weekend will be overwhelming, they are excited about the opportunity to grow their business and serve the community.

Elmazi says, “There’s so many customers that don’t get the chance to come out downtown so much, but because there’s an event going on, they get a chance to come out.”

The event is not only helping small businesses but local non-profits as well. Octoberfest marketing and PR chair Nikki Voelzke explains, “Every food vendor is a non-profit and they get to keep their proceeds, and for some of our non-profit partners, we know that it’s one of the biggest fundraisers that they do in the year.”

While Octoberfest was canceled last year for lack of volunteers, organizers say more than 700 people have signed up to do so this year. They also hope that because it has been a while since last Octoberfest, more people will be excited to attend.

Voelzke says, “We’ve all been cooped up for a couple of years and this event is one of the final events of the season. With all the music that we have, we anticipate a great crowd.”

As one of Appleton’s largest events, Octoberfest draws people to the city for live performances, vendors, a car show, and more. For more information on the festivities, click here.