The day was cool, and weather was calm Saturday, when thousands of people strolled the streets of uptown Martinsville during Oktoberfest.
They visited hundreds of booths with vendors, food, organizations and music.
Many of the vendors sold jewelry they had made, including Bettie Bowman. Her daughter Levita Bowman helped out by manning the booth as Bettie Bowman stayed put, wrapped in a sweater against the cold of 50-60 degrees.
Sydney Price makes jewelry in eight collections, each inspired by the personality of one of her eight cats. Her husband, Johnny Price, is from Martinsville, the son of Margaret Price and the late Bob Price. The couple live in Raleigh, N.C., and this is the second time she has had a booth at Oktoberfest.
Lions Club members including John Floyd and Trey Harold Suaim manned a booth selling their iconic brooms, while Lion Cliff Rood walked the streets hawking their wares.
Megan Greytak of Collinsville sold glass with designs she engraved using a Dremel tool.
The smell of fried food filled the air. At the Kingdom Point’s booth, Ellie Hoyer ordered some fried Oreos from Michelle Graham. Ellie and her two companions were planning out how to split five cookies among the three when one of the kids accidentally dropped a cookie on the ground, somewhat simplifying calculations, they agreed.
Many home-preserved foods were offered for sale. Grover Roark, from the Henry/Patrick County border area, sold dried apples (he uses Golden Delicious), fried apple pies, potatoes and an assortment of preserves. Daniel York and Brandee Johnson of Bassett dropped by to buy his pear preserves.
Down the hill from Roark, Nerina Culler and Deborah Culler of Ararat were selling a variety of canned goods, including relishes, chowchows and Irish apple butter and pumpkin butter (made with liquor).
“At 80 years old, what are you going to do?” Nerina Culler said. “You have to get off the couch.
Canning “gives me something to do. ... It gets me out the door.” She said this was her first time selling at Oktoberfest.
New Life Community Church was “blessing people” with prayers, drinks and snacks, Patrick Rusmisel said. People posted their prayer requests on a board, which would be taken back to the church to be prayed over. After a while with the church’s booth, Rusmisel went down a block to the Gideons, where he gave out Bibles.
Traffic was solid at the Gideons International booth, where people regularly stopped to talk with Vernon Mason and his companions, who were handing out Bibles.
Dozens of people walked their dogs along the roads, ranging from the massive Cooper, who was walking with Ginger and Martin Gardner, to the small Ace, with his human companion Gordon Barrett, and even some tiny-type dogs.
Leah Harris, a cos-player (dresses up as characters), roamed the streets as Autumn the deer.
Down by the Martinsville Fire Department, fire trucks from around the region were on display. Their ladders hung a flag at the entrance to Oktoberfest. Captain Sam Brown of the Ridgeway Fire Department helped children, including 3-year-old Grady Christian, sit in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.
At the Martinsville Fire Department Linda Reed (from left), Leon Reed and Renee Anderson gave out free popcorn, and at the other end of the table, others gave out SnoCones. Little Juliun Agee ate his SnoCone with heavy concentration, peeking out from under his red fire hat.
Also at the fire department, children played in bouncy houses and aimed fire hoses.
A bit farther down the road, Samantha Hill of Bassett gave tarot card readings. “I love the appeal of tarot cards, because I like watching people’s faces when I read them,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, really? I did just have that happen.’’
Muddles the Menacing Mime was up to his usual shenanigans, wandering up and down the streets entertaining crowds – a bit mischievously.
Local authors Stephen and Samaire Provost along with Mark Rainey, a Martinsville native and author , had their books at a table and talked with fans and potential fans alike.
There was a moving swing and a rock wall.
In the beer garden was a variety of food and drink vendors, as deejays Kevin Turner and Trey Gravely kept up a steady beat of music. Dozens of people, most children, danced.
Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.