I outdid myself this time. I came back from McKinney’s Oktoberfest with 168 photos. Oops. Clearly, I can’t post all of them on the blog. The post wouldn’t finish loading until some time next week. So I’ve added all of the photos, bagged and tagged, to my share site at Shutterfly. (http://onthesquare.shutterfly.com/)
You’ll see on the share how we could have had prettier weather but it all worked out nonetheless. By 10 o’clock, the rain had pretty much stopped though it looked like it could start again for quite awhile. I talked to two people who lived south of McKinney who saw rain in their neighborhoods until 2 pm. That may have gotten Oktoberfest off to a slow start but the crowds ultimately were good and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
So here are some of my favorite photos and some that just have to be included because they are so topical to the Oktoberfest festivities. I will have at least one other post later for news on the Square (there’s quite a bit).
We got to the square just before 10 am and the Antique Fair was in the process of getting set up.
The Antique Fair eventually spanned the entire street but only had one side set up by 10. I stopped and talked to those that could spare a minute. Antiquers were opening up their storage in the parking lot behind the Antique Company Mall to provide additional inventory to be perused by the public.
I enjoyed looking at Samantha Taylor’s jewelry in one of the tents. Very skillfully done, some of the jewelry is made out of bent antique spoons.
The smell of food cooking on the smoker on Louisiana Street was positively intoxicating. Patina Green had girls walking around with samples of their sausage (which was awesome, by the way).
It was still kind of early so we stopped by the beer ticket booth to get our bracelets to prove that we were old people and the city was selling the official Oktoberfest t-shirts.
And then we headed over and got a couple of Franconia brews – a dark one for the husband and a light one for me – and a couple of potato pancakes. Yum.
Now properly fueled, we wandered the square, in and out of shops and kept an eye out for festivities.
City officials were busy making sure everything went off as planned. It’s so nice when they are friendly. I love this shot.
We ran into this group taking photos at the main stage and the woman in the blue shirt tipped us off to the upcoming parade. They were such a great looking group, I snapped this shot as my husband took their picture for them with their camera.
The parade turned out to be really short and I didn’t have time to get my camera ready to catch it before it was already over. The parade ended at the main stage where the flag bearers stood while the anthems played.
It wasn’t long after this that people really started filtering into the square, which they did steadily until late at night. We walked through many of the shops.
Music played on the square and the Oktoberfest mood permeated the square.
More people showed up. By 2 pm, everyone seemed to accept that the threat of rain was over and it was time to enjoy ourselves.
And I think everyone did enjoy themselves. Main Street Magic & Fun Company ran a mini train from the front of their store down Virginia Street and back. For $1 a piece, parents and kids could ride the train.
There was a petting zoo over on Louisiana Street that was very popular. I came back with tons of photos from this and really had to pick my favorites to post. I picked my favorites for this post and the others are included on the Shutterfly share.
I know that this one is little blurry. The camera focused on the fence, but I kind of like how it turned out. The kids were so gentle with the animals and the animals were so tolerant. I wonder if they thought the face paints were odd. I heard that the lines were long for face painting. I think that the city could probably double all of the kid-centric offerings and no one would sit idle.
This little creature was one of the oddest I’ve seen at a children’s petting zoo. I have no idea what it is. I have an adorable series of shots of him allowing a child to touch his nose.
Over on the corner of Louisiana and Tennessee, the North Texas Cat Rescue had a couple of more common critters looking for homes. I was in the right place at the right time to get some of the cutest shots of this little cat discovering a chicken hat. She made several attempts to acquire it. The other photos are on the Shutterfly share.
Kids enjoyed the shoe labyrinth provided by Laura Moore Fine Art Studio. These gently used shoes are probably already at the Samaritan Inn, to whom they were intended to be donated.
The bier barrel races turned out to be really fun. The little girl in this picture had a good lead on the little boy all the way to the end. They had to roll the barrel all the way to the end of their lane, navigating the obstacle bales, turn the barrel around and come back. It didn’t take long to get swept away and, before I knew it, I was cheering on the little girl who had such a commanding lead over the child I assumed to be her brother or cousin. She was doing so well, I still can’t believe that she eventually lost.
The opportunity to sit at the wheel with one of the instructors from the McKinney Art House was very popular. The pots the kids took away from their experiences looked great. I helped sign kids up and tried to make sure that everyone who wanted to sit got a chance, but the slots went quickly and were completely spoken for for the rest of the day by just before 4. Lots of moms asked about pottery class birthday parties. The Art House is really more of a place to take classes and isn’t set up with enough wheels and instructors (all at one time) to handle birthday parties so I let them know that Walls of Clay offers pottery parties that would be along the lines of what they were looking for.
On the other side of the tent, kids could paint pumpkins and mold clay without using the wheel.
Not having kids myself, I didn’t think much about the kid’s activities when I headed down to Oktoberfest. Now, I realize that the majority of my favorite pictures have to do with just those activities. It is so nice to have such a family-friendly festival in our downtown.
On that note, I’d like to say thank you to the city of McKinney departments and the Main Street program and everyone else who brought this event to us. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am looking forward to next year … and also to Scare on the Square at the end of this month. Sorry guys, no rest for the weary. Keep up the good work! It is very much appreciated.
Until next time,