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First Friday taken to next level with Oktoberfest

October 02, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Friday marked a first for Greencastle when it welcomed a band, beer, bratwurst, businesses and area artists for an Oktoberfest celebration of First Friday.

The Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce together with the Greencastle Area Arts Council have been bringing artists downtown for the monthly celebration since March.

The event promotes downtown merchants while also showcasing artists and performers, former Chamber Director Bill Gour said.

After six months, it was time to take First Friday to a new level, said Marissa Pinto-Burt, the de facto chair of the event.

Starting at 5 p.m., downtown Greencastle blossomed to the sound of Waynesboro-based band Dimestore Profit.

Lining the sidewalks, businesses from outside of the borough set up tables to promote their establishments.

Downtown merchants like Willowtree Gifts and the Echo-Pilot kept doors open later, welcoming guests to stop in and enjoy the warmth.

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For a recurring event, there was a surprising amount of things to see and do Friday, Liz Barkdoll of Greencastle said as she stood in Antrim House Restaurant tasting the beer of Roy Pitz Brewery in Chambersburg, Pa.

"I'd like to see them do this more often," she said. "This is my first time coming to this, but I think it would be great to do maybe every Friday and Saturday."

Even while late-evening rain soaked the town, Burt said the turnout was great.

"I'm thrilled. This is so exciting," she said. "I think every First Friday should be like this."

Antrim House Restaurant on Baltimore Street quickly became a gathering place for the rain-soaked crowd.

Featuring a buffet of German food, the restaurant encouraged visitors to stop in and sample the food for a small fee.

Dimestore Profit continued to play its set in the rain, not breaking down until after 7 p.m.

Artists like Mountain View Pottery also remained through the rain on the sidewalk.

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