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Oktoberfest 2002 offers family fun

September 30, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

Adults carrying beer steins and whooping it up are what one expects to find at beer festivals, but the scene was quite different Saturday, the first day of the two-day Oktoberfest 2002 at the Frederick Fairgrounds.

"Ours is a family-oriented event," said Marty Young, director of volunteers for Community Living Inc., cosponsor of the event with the Fredericktowne Rotary Club.

"We want people to partake of the beer and have a good time without drinking a whole lot," she said.

"We also have a keg of root beer," said rotary club member Diane Norcross.

Many of the activities were aimed at children including putt-putt golf, the moonbounce, children's bingo, a children's crafts table, face painting and leaf imprinting, among others.


There were activities for the adults, too, in addition to the beer, bratwurst and sauerkraut that was sold throughout the day.

On Saturday, Heidi and Hans entertained the crowd with their German culture and folklore show, an Edelweiss band played traditional German biergarten drinking songs and a German dance troupe performed

Today, the music will be provided by Mike Surratt and the Continentals with their bouncy polkas and waltzes. A troupe of Alpine dancers will take the stage this afternoon.

Fifteen members of a German bicycle team touring the country were scheduled to stop by the festival late Saturday afternoon, Young said.

Community Living was founded in 1979 by a group of parents seeking better opportunities and services for their mentally and physically disabled children.

Today, the organization runs on a $3 million budget funded through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It has purchased 26 homes in Frederick, each housing three mentally and physically disabled clients in a home-like setting, said Susan B. Holton, executive director of Community Living Inc.

The clients go to work at jobs every day or to day care, depending on the severity of their disability, Holton said.

Proceeds from the Oktoberfest will help the organization buy a van to transport wheelchair-bound clients, she said.

None of the organizers could predict how much money the festival would bring in.

"This is only the first year," Norcross said.

"It's hard to figure how much to buy," Holton said.

Young said the water crisis affecting Frederick had no effect on the festival.

"We're selling water in bottles," she said.

Harold and Kathy Groves and their friend, Steve Edmunds, all of New Market, were among the festival attendees. The men were dressed in lederhosen and festive hats draped with medals representing German cities. All three were holding big glasses of dark beer.

"We like German stuff," Edmunds said. "I have a BMW car and motorcycle."

"We have cuckoo clocks, we collect beer steins and we like beer festivals," Harold Groves said.

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