Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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EDA survey shows majority of downtown business owners support Oktoberfest

The survey the Economic Development Authority commissioned to gauge sentiment among downtown business owners about Oktoberfest has come back.

A total of 76 businesses, mostly retail, were surveyed. They are located in the 600 to 1000 blocks of Caroline Street, and the 100 and 200 blocks of its cross streets in that area.

The results:

  • 58 percent of those surveyed said they support plans for the Oktoberfest event Capital Ale House has applied for on Caroline Street Sept. 18.
  • 62 percent of businesses said they support “major special events on Caroline Street that may require the closing of Caroline Street.”
  • 74 percent of those surveyed said they believe that “major special events benefit the downtown.”

The most common reasons given for opposing the Oktoberfest plans were claims that it would hurt the respondent’s business, that it consumes too much parking and that it amounts to a private business benefitting from the use of public space.

You can read the full survey results here. These results include comments from merchants. They include everything from “Bring it on,” and “Put the city on the map” to “Any event that has circus atmosphere drives my business away.”

There are a few requests to expand the event even farther to include the 600 block of Caroline, and a suggestion to turn Caroline Street into a full-time pedestrian mall.

Here is a copy of the application Capital Ale House submitted for the event. Authority for street closures like this rests with the city manager, under an ordinance the City Council approved last year. A decision is expected by the end of this month.