DANSVILLE — The community really comes alive when you bring music, food, classic cars, arts and crafts to downtown.
First Friday brought us Oktoberfest again this year, and it was a major success.
Mill Creek Optical Owner Jenni Leuzzi has always loved the idea of bringing Oktoberfest back to the area.
“I love that the First Friday events bring people downtown,” she said. “It helps get people to walk the streets, and see what we have to offer.”
Leuzzi coordinated the Oktoberfest festival with her love for all things German.
“This was our first one (First Friday) last year, and I love anything German,” she said. “I told them I would coordinate it.”
Leuzzi said she hopes other stores will be open, and more people will get into it next year.
The First Friday events have been an excellent way to promote the historic downtown, Leuzzi mentioned.
The funds from food sales went to Genesee Valley Rotary Camp. This camp allows special needs children to enjoy a time of friendship at no cost. However, the camp needs to be funded to operate in the summer.
Leuzzi sold pumpkins and mixed-berry strudel to help the camp.
As people get used to First Friday events they will start to look forward to it every month, Leuzzi said.
“We want to involve the school (Dansville Central) as we get more established,” she said. “It is nice to have this festival back in Dansville.”
Long ago the Jackson Hose Co. would put together an Oktoberfest at Babcock Park on Labor Day Weekend. For many, having this festival back is a really big deal.
“We used to have this on Labor Day Weekend, and it was huge,” Leuzzi said. “My German grandmother would look forward to it every year. I hope we can keep building on it.”
Dogwood Trading Co. Owner Susan DeMuth said Leuzzi did a great job bringing Oktoberfest to life for downtown.
“People are really excited to see it back,” she said. “Jackson Hose did it a long time ago at Babcock Park.”
DeMuth created a little German Christmas Market outside her store for the event.
“I am thinking of turning the other side into a crafts store for my crafts,” she said. “I like the idea of having a German Christmas Market with hand-cut paper ornaments. If they do it in Germany I think we should do it here.”
Alice Burdick, Susan’s mother, has the German heritage. DeMuth loves to honor that part of her family lineage.
The hand-cut paper ornaments are known as Scherenschnittee in German.
Glen Haven Farms was represented as well at the Oktoberfest with their Indian Corn, maple syrup, and garlic.
“We mostly do Maple Syrup and vegetable production,” Kylie Smith said. “People love to use the Indian Corn for decorations during Halloween time.”
Indian Corn and maple syrup are Glen Haven Farms top seller in the fall season.
“I think this festival is going very well,” Smith said. “It will take a couple of years to get it going.”