Glenville’s Oktoberfest focused on the basics on a chilly, rainy Saturday — music, eating and drinking.
The crowd of 4,000 people from last year’s Oktoberfest was far diminished on Saturday at Richmor Aviation’s hangar and grounds, as a persistent drizzle and one of the first truly brisk days of Autumn limited turnout and scared a few vendors away.
“Everyone’s having a good time though,” said Chris White, vice president of the German-American Club of Albany. “Even when you have a small turnout the people usually have a good time.”
White was part of a small crew working one of two beer stations, which were supplying a total of 58 barrels of beer, with each barrel holding 100, 16-ounce servings. He stood out from his merry bunch, though, as his attire was very authentic for the event.
“It’s called bundhosen,” White said, of his green-checkered shirt, hat and brown overalls. “You’ve heard of lederhosen … these come down to your knees or a little past your knees.” The self-described “weirdo,” said he’s had the outfit for years.
Another choice of attire was the shorts and sweatshirt of 13-year-old Ryan Jones. The Glenville resident proclaimed he wasn’t cold, as he braved the elements to play fundraising games organized by the Glenville Rotary.
Jones was one of a handful of kids captivated by a challenge that required them to stand a horizontal wine bottle right side up, using a ring hanging from a string attached to a stick.
“The bottle keeps moving around and it’s hard to keep it steady,” he explained.
A popular fundraiser, according to event chair David Hennel, was a dunk tank with town Supervisor Chris Koetzle. Hennel said a nice crowd signed up to pay five bucks for three chances to try to dunk the Koetzle, who taunted fans to attract more business.
Hennel, a Glenville resident, lamented the event’s bad luck with the weather, but noted that the biergarten in the hangar had been full all day. For him it was almost good enough that the hundreds in attendance were having a great time.
“You go into the food court or you go into the biergarten, and it’s just neighbors talking to neighbors,” he said.
Two other popular spots were the face painting station and a pumpkin painting tent. For the most part, though, people sought refuge at a picnic table under a large tent or ventured back to the hangar. Dave Dickson, of Glenville, was one of the many people who had bundled up against the weather and refused to be denied a good time. Listening to rock music under the large tent, with his two kids and wife in tow, Dickson said he couldn’t miss the event. “The weather makes it tough, but with winter coming it’s nice to get out of the house,” he said. “You get to be part of the community. That’s what it’s all about.”
While there may be larger and more extravagant Oktoberfest in the capital region this fall, Dickson said the Glenville one was just right.
“It’s much more relaxed,” he said. It’s a family atmosphere. That’s what I like most about it.”
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