If Thursday's opening of Oktemberfest is any indication, it seems there will be plenty of smiles to go around for Marshalltown's annual four-day festival.
The happy expression could be found on young faces all around during Kids Night festivities downtown.
The night featured big wheel races, the Fun Run, food and the 16th annual crowning of Little Mr. and Miss Oktemberfest.
This year the honor went to 6-year-old Brayden Weatherly and 7-year-old Jolcey Santana. Weatherly, a first grader at Hoglan Elementary School, is the son of Rob and Amber Weatherly and step-son of Erin Weatherly. He was selected randomly out of 34 first and second grade boys in the running.
"It was kind of scary and I was thinking someone else would be picked," Brayden Weatherly said. "It's cool."
Santana is a second grade student at Woodbury Elementary School and the daughter of David and Charlotte Santana. Her name was randomly picked out of 41 girls who tried for the honor.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
A group of 3 to 5 year olds get started in the Fun Run Thursday on Main Street as part of Oktemberfest Kids Night.
"I'm excited," she said.
The new Oktemberfest royalty will be able to ride in style in a convertible car during Saturday's parade.
"I think it will be very memorable for her," said Charlotte Santana.
4 p.m. - Carnival (downtown)
5 - 7 p.m. - Spaghetti dinner (Coliseum)
5 - 8 p.m. - Merchant and craft show (Coliseum)
5 - 9 p.m. - Food vendors (Courthouse lawn)
5 - 9 p.m. - Classic car show (Main Street)
6:30 p.m. - Harlem String Quartet (St. Mary's Church)
7 p.m. - The Return, Beatles tribute band (Courthouse lawn)
7:45 p.m. - Car show awards (Main Street)
Erin Weatherly said Brayden will have just as much fun.
"I think he's going to love the convertible," she said.
After the crowning, the smiles continued on Main Street as several different age groups ran in several heats of the Fun Run. Among them was Trace Bryant, 3, of Marshalltown.
"I think he had a lot of fun," said Trace's mother, Jennifer Bryant. "He was smiling the whole time."
Oktemberfest events continue Friday with the car show, spaghetti dinner, a performance by a Beatles tribute band and several other events. Saturday's parade will begin at 10 a.m. with events following throughout the day downtown.