Oktemberfest parade wows crowd

Celebration hits a peak as floats roll through town

The weather made Saturday’s Oktemberfest Grand Parade feel more like a July festival than a fall celebration, but that didn’t stop a large crowd from enjoying the scene and spectacle.

“We always come, it’s just a tradition,” said Marshalltown resident Teresa Williams, who was joined by her family for the parade.

Hundreds of families hauled lawn- and fold-up chairs for the parade, and their children lined up in front of them, ready to wave and catch candy.

Saturday’s hot weather didn’t seem to slow the kids down, as they had no trouble scrambling for their favorite treat when it was thrown from floats. A few of their parents also enjoyed a candy or two as they watched.

“I’ve got a daughter in the (high school) marching band,” said East Marshall parent Arianna Bond. “She plays the saxophone.”

Marching band music echoed through the streets for longs stretches of the parade, and many schools were represented. As usual, the sirens of police vehicles, fire engines and ambulances also blared through the late morning air.

“We like all of it!” said Marshalltown resident Jenna Hernández about her favorite part of Oktemberfest. “The kids like the candy, and the rides.”

The parade kicked off a day full of Oktemberfest activities. A carnival with spinning rides and bright lights delighted children just off Main Street on the east side of the Marshall County Courthouse.

Meanwhile, those who stuck around after the parade got to see a martial arts display, followed by a show from the Marshalltown Area Tumblers. Onlookers also enjoyed some taekwando talent Saturday afternoon.

New to the festival this year was the Color Blaze fun run on Center Street. Throughout the day, festival-goers enjoyed food from several vendors in the Courthouse Square. Crafters and merchants also sold goods throughout the day.

Rounding out the afternoon and evening were several musical acts performed live on-stage on the Courthouse Square. They included Brazilian 2wins, The Maytags and a Metallica cover band, among other groups.

Oktemberfest winds down today, but there are still some events this afternoon to check out.

Beginning at noon, food vendors, crafters and merchants, and carnival rides will be available in downtown Marshalltown. The vendors and carnival are set to finish up at 5 p.m., and the crafters and merchants at 4 p.m.

Beginning at 1 p.m., festival-goers can enjoy a motorcycle show and rodeo on West Main Street between 1st Avenue and 1st Street. Seven classes of motorcycle can be entered, and all riders are welcome to participate. Registration begins at 11 a.m.

For more on Oktemberfest 2017, visit www.oktemberfest.com