Chesapeake welcomes Octoberfest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2003

CHESAPEAKE - While Jackson resident Kim Robinson was hard at work with her daughter's cheerleading squad booth, her son was also hard at work - rolling down a small hill.

Despite working while her son was relaxing, Robinson enjoyed a reunion with family and friends at the Chesapeake Octoberfest Saturday.

"I just like being with my family," she said. "My uncle has a booth here and I've been working here all day. I'm seeing people I went to school with."

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During the annual festival, sponsored by the Chesapeake Area Citizens Coalition, cars lined the streets near the Chesapeake Triangle. More vendors, a car show and nice weather significantly increased crowds, festival chairman Dick Gilpin said.

"We've had an excellent turnout," he said. "We had a total of 51 vendors and we only had 42 last year. The weather was cool in the morning and people eat more when it's cool. The food vendors really profited from that."

Crowds have generally been evenly spread between the booths, Gilpin said. As of the afternoon, Gilpin said almost all of the vendors had success. Despite the planning only beginning two weeks ago, the festival's new car show brought in 51 cars, giving Gilpin hope the car show will be much better next year.

The Octoberfest is the only fund-raising event for the coalition, Gilpin said. The proceeds go toward several improvement and community projects, such as planting trees on the Chesapeake Triangle, the tree lighting ceremony at Christmas, improvements to the village park and other projects that come up.

"This Octoberfest is for two things: to provide a venue for people to socialize and provide income for our facilities," he said.

Rain kept Mike Curry, owner of M & G Graphics in Chesapeake, coming to sell his school shirts and jackets for three years, but the nice weather finally brought him out.

"This has been a great day," he said. "It's been a big success, very successful. A lot of people in Chesapeake look forward to this."