WHEATLAND — Oktoberfest was a cool and crisp affair last Thursday with a Wyoming breeze that chilled your bones. There were still those who braved the brisk temperatures to enjoy the festivities.
Rolling Hills Bank and Trust joined First State Bank and Platte Valley Bank as sponsors for the free dinner including hot dog or brat, chips, and all the fixings. Having three different food stations really reduced the time waiting in line and the beer tent kept things moving as well.
Platte County Public Health had several activities in front of their offices with a pumpkin toss for the little ones, props for fun selfies, an enclosed nursing station for mothers, and you could even get your flu shot right there on the spot by registered nurse Samantha Whitney.
Impact Church always puts on a good carnival in the Frontier Furniture parking lot, but this year they mixed it up by having an Old-Time Western theme complete with rustic storefronts, an outhouse toss game and old-west costumes. Was cotton candy really around back then?
Justin Herdt of DJ Magik kept the downtown hopping with themed music and even had a photo booth for attendees to create their own memories of the annual event.
Several organizations, churches, businesses and youth groups had booths with face painting, goodies to eat and raffles available. The Wheatland Middle School group that is raising funds for their trip to Peru this summer offered a Chicken Drop Game. Individuals could buy a chalk square with the hope that the chicken would defecate on it later in the evening to win 50 percent of the profits made.
Mile High Fries, the food truck owned by Wheatland graduate Spencer Lawrence, made an appearance on the north end of Ninth Street, along with several vehicles from Bob Ruwart Motors and Laramie Peak Motors if anyone was interested in seeing some of their new models up close.
Winners of the car show were:
1st Place - Pam Killion - 1957 Bel-Air
2nd Place - Frank Jones - 1957 Blue Chevy Bel Air
3rd Place - Kit Killion - 1937 Blue Ford pickup.
One of the great perks of living in a small town is going to events like these and being able to allow children to spend some time exploring and reveling with their peers instead of having to be guarded by their parents from potential threats. Some structured freedom in relative safety in their youth is a paramount step to learning responsible independence. In that vein, Wheatland offers opportunities where larger cities can’t compete.