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New District Brewing Plans ‘ValleyFest’ to ‘Pick Up the Mantle’ of Capitol City’s Oktoberfest

Capitol City Brewing might’ve closed up shop in Shirlington, but some of the area’s remaining brewmasters are trying to keep the spirit of the brewery’s popular “Oktoberfest” celebration alive.

Cap City started hosting an annual Oktoberfest event back in 1999 at its former location in the Village at Shirlington. The brewpub’s sudden closure back in March marked the end of that event, but the New District Brewing Company is hoping to fill the void with a similar event just across Four Mile Run.

The brewery is planning to host “Arlington ValleyFest” around its home on 2709 S. Oakland Street on Sept. 30, the same weekend Cap City traditionally convened Oktoberfest.

New District founder Mike Katrivanos told ARLnow that he envisions that ValleyFest can “pick up the mantle” of what Cap City started.

“With every end coming, there’s a new beginning,” Katrivanos said.

Katrivanos says New District hosted ValleyFest for the first time last year, but on a substantially smaller scale. They put on the festival the first weekend of November, but he says the chilly weather made that a “not very desirable date” moving forward.

But when he saw that Capitol City would be closing up shop, he decided to call around and check with other business owners to see if anyone else would be hosting Oktoberfest instead. He discovered that no one was especially interested in doing so, and he set about seeing if he could move up ValleyFest a bit.

Katrivanos quickly secured the county’s approval for the change, and even earned permission to double the festival in size. The event will now run nearly the length of S. Oakland Street, after it intersects with S. Four Mile Run Drive, running past the Shirlington Dog Park.

“We really hope to kind of replicate Oktoberfest, though hopefully not in the drunken mob type of sense,” Katrivanos said. “We’re not trying to get that crowd coming to consume too much, but we definitely are trying to create an enjoyable vibe centered around a large event.”

While Katrivanos says the event will have plenty of beer on hand, he also wants to be focused on local art, especially given the debate around the best ways to promote the arts in the Four Mile Run Valley as part of the county’s review of its plans for the area.

Katrivanos expects to have a variety of local artists on hand, as well as the Arlington Art Truck. He’s even planning a “pop-up” art installation he hopes will be a “Burning Man-style exhibit built in one day.”

He added the event will also include some of the same vendors who staffed Cap City’s Oktoberfest will be in attendance, with food trucks and even a “Ben and Jerry’s Dessert Truck” serving up treats.

The festival will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. The event will be free, but New District is offering deals for beer tickets on the event’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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