Bavarian Fall Fest kicks off with a bang

Photo by Yelena Kisler – Two young girls had a ball dancing around to the music of Lawyers, Guns, & Money on the first night of the Bavarian Fall Fest Friday. The event continues through Sunday with more music and entertainement.
Yelena Kisler
Staff Writer

The crowd was large and lively, the vendors were fully stocked and the smells of delicious food filled the air yesterday at the opening night for the 2018 St. Marys Bavarian Fall Fest.
Many attendees were seen milling around various vendors booths, enjoying treats from the food vendors, and socializing. Later, they rocked out to the sounds of band Lawyers, Guns & Money, who played for the energetic crowd.
After a short speech from Mayor Lou Radkowski, and an opening prayer from Brad Brunner of First Baptist Church, John Salter from The River, 98.9, introduced the award recipients for the year.
This year, the Fall Fest Person of the Year Award went to the members of Elkland Search and Rescue for their heroic work within St. Marys and throughout the county.
The Business of the Year award was presented to Just Ben Catering. Ann Gabler, managing director for the St. Marys Chamber of Commerce presented the award. Owner Ben Samick accepted the award and brought his family up with him.
"I'd like to take this time and thank the Good Lord upstairs," said Samick in his acceptance speech. "Eight years now, I think, we've been in business. I'd like to thank the community, because it's our great customers that come out to support [us] all the time, and it's really you guys that help us do what you do. I can't thank the community enough for all of your support."
Gabler announced that they will be having a new type of fundraiser for the 4th of July Fireworks. Throughout the weekend, they will pass around an all-American top hat to collect donations for the fireworks.
"So if you see the hat, know that it is a legitimate fundraising effort for our annual fireworks," said Gabler.
One very popular attraction Friday was the rock climbing wall. A steady rotation of children could be seen going up and down the wall at any given time.
The younger attendees were also particularly attached to the Crafts by Leanna Sizer booth which sells handmade plush animals, blowups and artwork based on pop culture characters. Sizer, a Ridgway resident, said this is her third year at the event and she has been making the popular crafts for the past six years.
Many other vendors offered unique jewelry, homemade beauty products, candles, cooking supplies, artwork, and much more.
Fall Fest continues throughout the weekend with musical entertainment to come throughout the day today, and Canadian Credence Clearwater Revival cover band, Green River Revival, who is scheduled to play from 7-10 p.m.