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B’ville’s Oktoberfest keeps crowd dancing

Enzian Bavarian German Dancers Karl Wuerslin, of Fayetteville, and Gracie Schell, of Utica, entertain the crowd with traditional German dancing during Saturday’s Oktoberfest held on Paper Mill Island.

Enzian Bavarian German Dancers Karl Wuerslin, of Fayetteville, and Gracie Schell, of Utica, entertain the crowd with traditional German dancing during Saturday’s Oktoberfest held on Paper Mill Island.

— The show must go on.

And it did, despite heavy rain.

Reminiscent of the festival held at Tri County Mall decades ago, Fritz’ Polka Band was moved from the amphitheater stage on Paper Mill Island to under the tents during Friday night’s down pour.

According to Mayor Joe Saraceni, 50 people had a personal show by the headlining band. “It was intimate,” he said. “We’re not going to let a little rain spoil our fun.”

In contrast, Saturday was a beautiful fall day for the festival with the Enzian Bavarian Dancers returning to entertain throughout the afternoon. Nicole Raith, whose father helped establish the 40-year-old organization and is currently the bandleader, said the Enzians is a real family affair.

“Yesterday, my 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, was out there dancing,” she said as she took a break from performing.

Dressed in traditional German attire, the Enzians sang, dance and engaged the crowd for an authentic Oktoberfest celebration.

Ludwig Schiessl, who was born in Germany and now lives in Baldwinsville, broke down the popular German chant heard throughout the day for this Irish girl:

“Eins, duei, drei, g’suffa, zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,” the band leader says and then the crowd responds “Hoi, hoi, hoi.”

While patrons enjoyed the entertainment, they also supported the various organizations that were raising money through food sales, raffles and gambling.

Baldwinsville residents Dan DeLawyer and longtime friend Art Alexander were on a winning streak at the Baldwinsville Knights of Columbus’ number wheel. DeLawyer’s son, Kenny, 12, was the real lucky one as he was picking the numbers for his dad and Alexander.

Lysander Republican Committee members Lisa Dell, Mike Bishoff (chairman), Brian Bigsby (vice chairman) and Roman Diamond were selling raffle tickets for various lottery prizes. Proceeds from the sales were being donated to the Baldwinsville Food Pantry.

“The food pantry is definitely in need this year,” Bishoff said, adding that last year’s proceeds benefited Meals on Wheels and the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center.

Virgil the magician was also on hand Saturday entertaining children and adults, alike, with his magic show throughout the afternoon.

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