Oktemberfest a big success

I looked around at a crowded Veterans Memorial Coliseum and people having the time of their lives at the Joe Diffie concert Saturday night, and then and there, deemed the 2013 Oktemberfest a success.

A hearty pat on the back goes to the volunteer Oktemberfest board for a job well done this past weekend.

It wasn’t always easy as weather threw a wrench into festivities Saturday.

The parade got a little wet in the middle and end, but the community came out in full force. I have to thank those who give of their time to make creative floats in the parade – it certainly was appreciated by myself and my kids.

It was also nice to honor the Vietnam War veterans in the parade, but I also come away with a feeling like we could do even more to honor them. They deserve continued thanks in my book.

The parade also brought plenty of candy to restock our supply for the kids. These days you can also get more than candy thrown your way at a parade. My daughter also appreciated the frisbee, stickers, erasers and calculator she got at the parade. Yes, calculator – that was a new one for me.

Now back to the Diffie concert.

It was a bit of a risk for Oktemberfest to bring in a big name for the Saturday night show. The weather even upped the risk as the event was moved indoors. What transpired after that was one fun night – and I was working the show and still had a great time.

I witnessed a crowd of 600 people, most of whom seemed like they were having a great time, though some of it might have been beer-aided.

One woman in the crowd told me: “This is the best thing Marshalltown has done in a long time.”

The night also proved the coliseum – a facility past its prime – can still be an enjoyable venue for a concert.

I also covered the car show Friday night and that was also a well attended event. Having local band JJ Ace on a flatbed truck at the corner of Center and Main streets was also a nice touch and brought the crowd of car gawkers into the thick of the music as well.

Thanks to the board and all the volunteers for a successful 2013 Oktemberfest. I had lots of fun, even if I was “working” for some of it.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or apotter@timesrepublican.com