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MDO (Midwest Deutsche Oktoberfest) started as a man's dream, that man was Leo Dorzweiler. Leo along with several interested and caring persons first met on November 20, 2001 to discuss interest in starting a new celebration. Their Oktoberfest was one that would include more traditional German events and would be more for the whole family . The first formal announcement about the group’s plans was printed in the Hays Daily News on January 27, 2002.

The MDO is a non-profit organization, that helps to promote the German Hertiage of Ellis County, Kansas. It is a group of volunteers from Ellis County, Hays and other nearby communities that give their time and their abilities to plan, promote, and raise money for this (2) two day festival to make it the most geniune Oktoberfest to be held in the Midwest.

It is to be held annually on the (3rd) third week-end of September.

With the passing of the Articles of Incorporation and the election of a group of officers, the actual MIDWEST DEUTSCHE OKTOBERFEST ASSOCIATION began June 22, 2002.

Membership is open to any person that is interested in furthering the cause of the organization and promoting the German heritage of Ellis County throughout the Midwest. A membership fee of $5 per person is paid annually. The website:

As written in the by-laws of the association, all profits generated from the Midwest Deutsche Oktoberfest Association are donated to the Ellis County Historical Society Museum.