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by Gail Marsh
(September 27, 1998) The well-kept grounds of the former Weston State Hospital is the site of this weekend's Oktoberfest celebration in downtown Weston.
The old but majestic sycamore trees that line the property provided shade and comfort on a warm Saturday for the visitors who came out for the eighth annual celebration.
The day's activities included children's games, face painting, wine tasting, a clown act and five hours of some of the best country music in North Central West Virginia.
"This is really the biggest day for the event, and we have people come from throughout the area to enjoy the music," said Jim Tucci of Weston.
Tucci explained that Oktoberfest was started as a way to celebrate the heritage of the many European immigrants who came to Lewis County to work in the glass factories. Sponsored by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, it has turned out to be the biggest fund raiser of the year for the Chamber.
"It's just a good chance for people to come together, enjoy the beauty of the grounds and enjoy the festival," he said.
People took their time to walk around the festival, taking in the more than two dozen booths that housed arts and crafts and different kinds of foods. Bales of hay were stacked throughout the area and there were plenty of clean picnic tables on which to eat and visit with old friends and acquaintances.
Though little authentic German food was evident, Dorothy Skinner did have a pastry booth that served German chocolate cake, along with several types of homemade pies.
"I look forward to doing this every year. It gives you a chance to get out and do something different," she said.
Kim Jeffries of Weston waited at the face-painting booth while her sons Bryan, 8, and Adam, 4, got Mortal Kombat and dragon figures painted on their lower legs. She said they won't want to wash them off for a week.
"We come every year to just stroll the grounds and see what the festival has to offer. We try to come out and support what our hometown is doing," she said.
Oktoberfest continues through today from noon until 6 p.m. The old hospital is located in downtown Weston.