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New Ulm Ready for Bockfest

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NEW ULM, Minn. -

In just a matter of hours, New Ulm will be filled with beer drinkers from all over.

Bockfest kicks off on Saturday, and if the temperatures are decent, the crowds will be large during and after the festival.

"We get about 5,500 people, that's been pretty consistent the last few years," said Ted Marti, president of the August Schell Brewing Company.

Marti says they're ready for thousands of beer guzzlers to flock to this year's event.

"We shut down the bottling and pretty much all the brewing and bottling so we can set this up," Marti said.

"It's a crazy time of year. The town is almost overwhelmed, but in a good way," said Terry Sveine of the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce.

Sveine says Bockfest means big bucks for area businesses as well.

"I can tell you it's 10's and 10's of thousands of dollars if not more," Sveine said. "We've got 302 lodging rooms spread out between 7 facilities, bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels --they'll all be full."

But then there's the task of keeping tabs on the large crowds.

"We have about 25 percent of our additional staff working, and they're working on overtime," said Cmdr. Dave Borchert of the New Ulm Police Department. "The far majority of the people behave very well, but we have a small number of individuals...and they're creating issues."

If you're coming to New Ulm tomorrow, local authorities say there are a number of things you should know, before and after you step foot on the brewery grounds.

"No drinking on the street or in the parking lot--private parking lots, we have ordinances against that, we certainly enforce that," said Borchert.

And the party, along with that extra enforcement kicks off at 11 A.M. on Saturday.
Tickets to Bockfest are $10 per person. The event wraps up at 4:30 P.M.