An Open Letter To My Fellow Citizens:
I want to take this opportunity to extend my most sincere thanks for all those who organized, implemented and enjoyed the 2014 New Britain Oktoberfest this past weekend. For three days, our downtown area was transformed into a place where people of all backgrounds could come and enjoy great food, great music and great camaraderie. I cannot tell you how many times people told me how proud they were of their City and what a good time they had. By all accounts, the 2014 Oktoberfest was a huge success and there are a lot of “thank yous” to go around.
First, to Nick Augustino, Anne Pilla, Jim Sanders, Jr., and their entire team: thank you! Your vision and perseverance took the lessons learned from last year and made this past weekend absolutely fabulous. Your positivity and faith in our City helped to overcome any hurdle that got in the way, and that is an attitude I identify with and appreciate. We look forward to continuing the success next year.
Second, to our City employees – you came through this challenge with flying colors. Our Health & Building officials worked with all the food vendors and event organizers to ensure that everything was safe and up to code. Our Police and Fire Departments were ever-vigilant, making certain that this event would be safe and secure, while allowing people to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Our Public Works crews made sure that downtown remained clean and operated our parking garages with great efficiency and success. New Britain employees: I am very proud of you.
Finally, to those who attended Oktoberfest – you made it happen. No amount of planning is worthwhile if people are not going to come, and boy did they come. But even more important than the record attendance was the way everyone enjoyed themselves…responsibly. Believe it or not, we only had one minor Oktoberfest-related incident over the weekend, proving that New Britain is a safe and fun place to be. Everyone I saw was just thrilled to be out in their City, enjoying great food and cheer. I have never been prouder to call this City home and I hope you felt the same way this past weekend.
So let us bid adieu to the 2014 Oktoberfest, and look ahead to 2015, knowing that it will be even better than before!
Mayor Erin E. Stewart