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Good weather draws locals to Oktoberfest
Oct 25, 2006 12:00 am
Visitors from Lebanon and surrounding communities came together at Wilson Bank & Trust under clear blue sky Saturday for the 19th annual Oktoberfest.
"We've been blessed with great weather," Wilson Bank's Randall Clemons said.
The event features live entertainment, vendors showcasing goods, demonstrations of various crafts and lots of food. The entertainment stage was a popular destination as the many patrons took seats to listen to a variety of musical acts including gospel, oldies and blues. A group Wilson Bank & Trust employees got the crowd going with renditions of several songs from the popular movie "The Blues Brothers."
Calling themselves the "Blues Brokers," Branch Manager and Senior Vice President Larry Squires and Financial Advisor Jim Whatley along with their backup musicians received thunderous cheers at the completion of their set.
"They got together four or five years ago for a Blues Brothers event at work and have been doing it ever since," fellow Wilson Bank employee Beth Williams said.
This year Oktoberfest added some new features to the list of attractions. Clemons noted the entertainment had been expanded as well as the crafts area.
"We have greatly expanded the crafts area this year," Clemons said.
The demonstrations included wood carving, a blacksmith and many others. First time crafters Tim and Sherri Osborne brought their hand built cider press to the festivities and were showing a large crowd of visitors how to make both cold and hot apple cider.
"We started our orchard nine years ago," Tim Osborne said. "This is our first trip as a vendor at Oktoberfest and I've enjoyed it."
"It's been good," Sherri added.
Another organization making its first appearance at the festival were the Metro Fire Explorers. A small group were onhand giving away free smoke detectors and answering questions concerning fire safety.
"We've given away about 2,000 smoke detectors today," Metro Explorer coordinator Michael Meeks said. Counting the detectors from Oktoberfest, Metro Explorers have given away more than 20,000 smoke detectors this year.
"We're just trying to promote fire safety," Meeks said.
For the youngsters in the crowd there were a number of activities. These included inflatable bouncers and obstacle courses, a train ride around the track at Stroud Gwynn Field and a punt, pass and kick contest.
"It gets bigger every year," Clemons noted of the large amount of new features for this year.
Attendance was expected to be comparable to the previous year as well.
"We had 10,000 people for the weekend last year, and I expect we'll have that many again," Clemons said.
Staff Writer Kimberly Jordan can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at email@example.com.