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Octoberfest: Fall tradition

Students from the Chesapeake High School marching band make their way down Third Street in downtown Chesapeake. THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST. JAMES

Josh Nunley with the band “New Beginnings” performs at the Chesapeake Octoberfest Saturday at Triangle Park. THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST. JAMES

CHESAPEAKE — Clear blue skies and sunshine welcomed those who gathered for Chesapeake’s Octoberfest this weekend. The 15th annual event was Saturday in the village’s Triangle Park.

“We couldn’t ask for better weather for all this stuff,” Mayor Dick Gilpin said.

Each year the event draws crowds for the annual distance run, fire parade, car show and vendors of all kinds. The Chesapeake Area Citizens Coalition coordinates the day, which has turned into a community reunion of sorts, Gilpin said.

The event coincides with the Chesapeake High School’s homecoming and offers something for everyone.

“We try to create as much chaos as we can in a short period of time,” the mayor said.

This year for the first time, the event offered a firefighters rodeo. Firefighters from around the area competed in various physical challenges designed to simulate what happens in a real fire.

With the competition of nearby Oktoberfest in Pullman Square, the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Barboursville, W.Va. and other festivals around the Tri-State, attendance and venders were not as abundant at this year’s event, Gilpin said.

“Everyone’s having festivals this weekend,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have what we have.”

Chesapeake resident Angel Collins came and brought her two children, 1-year-old Sierra and 7-year-old, Raistlin.

“It’s nice to have something to do in Chesapeake,” Collins said. She has been coming to the event every year for the past three or four years, she said. “It’s just a nice thing for the family to get out and do.”