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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Crowds come out for Octoberfest

(Oct. 22, 2015) Saturday’s Octoberfest in Berlin was one of the busiest in recent memory, with strong, steady crowds taking advantage of live music, activities, shopping – and beer – throughout the afternoon and into the early evening.
Several shops in the downtown area reported better-than-expected sales during the six-hour event.
“It was one of the best days we’ve had since we’ve been open,” said Josh Faber from Bleached Butterfly on Pitts Street. “I thought it was a great event.”
Faber said the store stayed opened until 7 p.m. – two hours later than usual and an hour after the event ended.
“We expected a pretty decent day, but it was definitely more than anticipated,” Faber said. “It was a welcomed ‘more,’ I can tell you that.”
Bungalow Love on South Main Street also stayed open until 7 p.m.
“It was super awesome,” said Bungalow owner Heather Layton. “It was busy all day and everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves and having a great time.”
Businesses located well off Main Street, including Uncle Jon’s Soaps on Williams Street, also saw strong sales and happy customers.
 “It was a good day with steady traffic,” owner John Conley said. “Even with the crowds, people were pleasant and the mood was good throughout.”
During the event, Berlin resident Diana Parsons won the apple pie baking contest, which included a $100 cash prize, and a team cosponsored by Baked Dessert Café and Bungalow Love won the inaugural “Born to be Wild Assateague Hobby Horse Steeplechase Race,” sponsored by the Assateague Island Alliance and Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill.
The race consisted of three-person teams riding wooden hobbyhorses through an obstacle course, jumping over hurdles, shimmying through hula-hoops and wading through a straw-filled baby pool.
Dave Rovansek, John Colley and Ray Layton rode for the winning team, and $1,307 was raised for the nonprofit Assateague Island Alliance.
“It’s to get involved with the community and do stuff like that,” Layton said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said town officials have already begun planning next year’s event and that the hobby horse race would return.
“I think it turned out better than I expected,” she said. “I didn’t have any idea how they were going to do a steeple chase race, but the way they laid out the course and the fun that everyone seemed to be having watching, it was just great.
“Next year we’re going to change a few things up and include children,” she added. “Overall, I thought it was a great addition to Octoberfest.”
Wells said several other alterations, including substituting a live classic rock band for the usual polka music, helped boost attendance and hold the crowds.
“I think the additional of all the children’s activities brought multigenerational visitors here,” she said. “What I saw was a lot of extended families – grandparents with their kids who brought their kids. It was one of those events that had something for everyone. It appealed to every demographic.
Sharon Timmons, administrative assistant with the town and one of the organizers of Octoberfest, summed up the event.
“The day, the weather, the crowds – nothing could have been more perfect, and I think everyone had a great time,” she said.