Why Walhalla celebrates the third weekend of October

Curious about the history and inspiration behind some of Oconee County’s favorite festivals?
Oconee History Museum, in partnership with Lake Hartwell Country, has the cure for your
curiosity with a new digital exhibit series called Why We Celebrate. These digital exhibits
explore the history and culture of Mountain Rest’s Hillbilly Day, Westminster’s Apple Festival,
and Walhalla’s Oktoberfest. Each digital exhibit will include photographs, programs,
memorabilia, oral histories and much more showcasing the history and origins of each festival.
Funds for Why We Celebrate were awarded to Oconee History Museum through a Growth
Grant from South Carolina Humanities, www.schumanities.org. Funding for the Growth Grants
has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“We have had so much fun with this digital exhibit series. I am always amazed at the amount of
community pride, hard work, and dedication that these festivals require. The fact that
community volunteers
continue pulling off festivals like these year after year for 40, 50, and even 60 years is
remarkable and very telling of Oconee County’s character,” said Oconee History Museum
Director/Curator Leslie Hagerty.
The final digital exhibit in the series, Why We Celebrate: Oktoberfest, is now available for
viewing online. Since 1979 visitors have flocked to Walhalla to celebrate the town’s German
heritage. This digital exhibit explores the history of Walhalla’s German settlement and the
creation of Walhalla’s own Oktoberfest celebration. This year’s Oktoberfest will be held October
21-23, 2022 on Sertoma Field in Walhalla.
You can view all of the Why We Celebrate digital exhibits and learn more about museum
programs and festival details at https://www.oconeehistorymuseum.org/learn/why-we-celebrate/
Also, on Thursday October 6, 2022 at 7pm, the public is welcome to join Oconee History
Museum for a free public program – Why We Celebrate: Oktoberfest. This presentation will
explore the German history and heritage of Walhalla and the history of the Oktoberfest festival,
which occurs annually on the 3rd weekend of October.