EAST LIVERPOOL - German culture came to Thompson Park on Saturday in the form of clothing, food and music.
The second annual Oktoberfest, which was sponsored by the East Liverpool and Calcutta Rotary Clubs, featured sour kraut and sausage, beer, polka music, and more. Many attendees were greeted as they entered by Mary Sue Lang, and her brother, Charles B. Lang, who are members of the East Liverpool Rotary Club and dressed as traditional Germans.
"We have every type of German food you can think of," said Steve Sant, president of the East Liverpool Rotary Club. "This year is a lot bigger than last year last year we had about eight vendors, but this year there are more than 40."
Mary Sue Long and her brother, Charles B. Long, wore traditional German dress during an Oktoberfest event Saturday in Thompson Park. The event was sponsored by the Calcutta and East Liverpool Rotary Clubs, and featured a wide variety of German-themed events. (Photo by Matthew White)
Sant said that about 1,000 people attended last year, and that he expected that number to increase this year as well.
Sant said the clubs really tried to put a variety of activities together, with lots of games and activities for kids, including face painting and pony rides, and crafts and music for adults.
He said that besides a wide number of food vendors, a disc jockey was scheduled from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and that a polka band was set to play from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Susan Sigler said she thought the event was great for the community. "I love the fall it's the best time of the year," she said. "I missed the event last year because I was out of town. I wanted to make sure I made it this year."
Vicky Pearson, a sixth grade social studies teacher at West Gate Middle School, said the event really made her want to go to Germany and see the real thing.
She said she has previously talked with her students about Oktoberfest in Germany, and about how when immigrants come to America they bring their cultures with them giving Americans the chance to experience new things.
Debbie Comparetto, who ran a booth selling hand-crafted soap and cinnamon rolls at the event, said she came to Oktoberfest last year as a spectator, and that she was so impressed she wanted to sell her products at the event this year.
Marian Ferlaino, president of the Calcutta Rotary Club, said the organizations put the event on because they wanted to offer the public a chance to spend time with their families in the park.
"We managed to put on a very family oriented event, and that's what we're aiming for each year," she said. "We certainly hope to watch Oktoberfest grow."
Ferlaino also noted the clubs use money generated by the event to provide scholarships and to give to local organizations that are in need.