By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 12, 2021 at 9:06 AM

It's the most wonderful time of the year; when the beers are amber, the pretzels warm and the music at its oompah-ist.

Kegel’s Inn, which has been operating a beer garden at the War Memorial Center this summer will host an Oktoberfest fundraiser for the Center for the second straight year.

The event, in the north parking lot and on Fitch Plaza, overlooking Lake Michigan, takes place Sept. 24-26 and is presented this year in conjunction with Swarmm Events, which has previously organized Oktoberfest events at Pere Marquette Park, The Deer District and Cathedral Square Park.

In addition to German beers like Hofbrau and Hacker Pschorr and seasonal Oktoberfest brews from local breweries, the celebration will include the pretzels and loaded brats that Kegel’s has been offering at the lakefront beer garden.

There will be arts and crafts vendors, stein holding competitions, a bags tournament, a Miss Oktoberfest contest and live music from regional German bands.

Most of the event wil be in the beer garden location in the parking lot just north of the War Memorial Center, but a second stage and seating will be up above on Fitch Plaza.

Admission is free, but attendees 21 and over can purchase a wristband to buy alcohol for $5. Early Bird VIP tickets, available online at, are $45 and include a liter of beer, a pretzel or brat, VIP lanyard, VIP behind the scenes tour of the War Memorial Center, on-site parking and a donation to the War Memorial Center.

“We are excited to host this fundraising event for the War Memorial this year,” says Julian Kegel, owner and operator of Kegel’s Inn. “We've had great success with our new Beer Garden at the War Memorial and we want our Oktoberfest to be the grand finale to a wonderful summer along the lakefront.

“We couldn't ask for better partners with Swarmm Events and the War Memorial Center to celebrate Milwaukee’s history and heritage at this spectacular outdoor space.”

A portion of event’s proceeds benefits the veterans’ services and programs of the nonprofit War Memorial Center.

“The War Memorial Center is ‘the’ permanent place to honor, heal, discover, celebrate, and remember the personal experiences and sacrifices of Wisconsin’s Veterans,” says Dan Buttery, War Memorial Center president and CEO.

“Our collaboration with Kegel’s Inn and Swarmm Events is a perfect example of the community coming together in support one of Wisconsin’s iconic institutions as we support our mission: Honor The Dead – Serve The Living.”

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.