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Entertainment at Oktemberfest a crowd pleaser

September 23, 2012
By MIKE DONAHEY - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

From hula hoop spinning to feasting on barbecued turkey legs, there was something for everyone at Marshalltown's Courthouse Square as Oktemberfest activities continued Saturday afternoon.

Main Street in front of the Courthouse was busy as well, with two Tae-Kwondo demonstrations, a large group of Marshalltown Area Tumblers displaying their skills and the Cornflake Cloggers - all entertaining hundreds while food stands did a brisk business.

On the square rockers Band Exit 185 moved quickly into their sets just minutes after the parade ended and covered a number of Black Sabbath tunes among others.

Article Photos

The band Bree and Friends is shown performing at the Courthouse Square Saturday afternoon as part of Oktemberfest activities. From left are Melissa Hall, Bree Miller and Rev. Terry Fristoe all of Marshalltown. Miller is Fristoe’s daughter.

While that band played, children and teens were busy showing off their hula-hoop skills to friends and family on the west side of the square.

Alyza Nielsen, 10, of State Center was able to spin several at once while mom Jennifer Nielsen and two sisters watched.

No sooner had favorites Kingdom Klowns LuLu and Leroy set up their post when a line of kids and adults formed to take advantage of the couple's creative balloon making skills.

LuLu, who wore a clown skirt made up of ties, patiently answered questions while making animal and other shapes from balloons.

Hilda Herrera, of Marshalltown, watched as son Martin Herrera, 11 was given a dog-shaped balloon, while younger siblings awaited their turn.

Following Exit 185 was band Disorganized Religion - made up of members of Marshalltown's Faith Open Bible church.

Religious music set to a rock format was the group's forte.

The group performed several original songs mixed in with covers.

However, singer Natalie Boles said the group will change the cover.

"If the song is fast, we slow it down," she said. "If it is slow, we'll make it faster with electric guitar and drums."

Boles said she joined the group six months ago, while other members had been playing three years.

The group is busy at church and with public appearances, including playing at the 2011 Oktemberfest.

Band Bree and Friends, also affiliated with the church, followed.

The group started their performance as a duet, with singer Bree Miller joined by father the Rev. Terry Fristoe.

Strong-voiced singer Melissa Hall joined the duet for several songs.

Miller said she and her dad had been playing for nearly 25 years.

The group covered several well known songs such as the Eagles' "Desperado," Roger Miller's "King of the Road and Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart."

The trio's moving performance of "Hallelujah" was a highlight.

While the bands played Smokin' G's Barbecue on Main Street did a thriving business, according to owner Kenny Gratopp.

"People have been patient and willing to stand in line," he said. "Brisket has been our most popular item followed by turkey legs. The weather has been ideal for us today."

Oktemberfest continues through Sunday with activities at the Coliseum, Center Street and downtown.



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