Oktoberfest announces 2016 Festmaster

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare's Joe Kruse and wife Barb to serve as Festmaster and Frau

Oktoberfest rolls on with the announcement of the new festmaster.

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare’s Joe Kruse and his “Frau” Barb will serve as the head of this year’s Royal Family.

The announcement was officially made at the Festmaster’s Ball Friday night at the La Crosse Center. Kruse says that’s fitting, because the Ball was always his favorite Oktoberfest event.

He also says he looks forward to representing our region for the next year.

“Almost like an ambassadorship, you know, we’re representing not only Oktoberfest but everything that Oktoberfest stands for in terms of friendship and relationships with communities and making new friends along the way, and a voice for really just the wholesomeness and goodness of living in this region.”

The couple found out they would be this year’s Festmaster and Frau in April and had to keep it a secret until Friday night, something that was easier said than done.

“(It was) really hard. And I’m not sure we did that great of a job,” said Joe.

“It’s not that we share it with other people, it’s when other people come and say things like, ‘Oh, I hear you’re the Festmaster and Frau,’ just fishing, you know. And just to maintain that poker face, it’s not easy,” said Barb.

While this year’s Oktoberfest wraps up on Sunday, the Festmaster, Frau and the rest of the Royal Family will continue to appear at events across the area until next year’s Fest.