CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- People of all ages enjoyed live music, beer, food, arts and crafts and games at the seventh annual OktoberWest gathering on the West Side of Charleston on Saturday evening.
West Side Main Street puts on the festival to raise money for community revitalization projects.
"We have really stepped it up this year," said Stephanie Johnson, director of West Side Main Street. "We really tried to make it feel and look like Oktoberfest in Germany."
Johnson said 1,500 tickets were sold before the event, but with live music from the Davisson Brothers Band and expanded food offerings this year, she wouldn't be surprised to sell more than 2,000 tickets this year.
There were booths from Charleston Brewing Company, North End Tavern & Brewery from Parkersburg and others. Volunteers wore traditional German beer dresses and delivered beer throughout the crowd.
This year's event added the Taste of West Fest, where 13 area businesses provided a variety of festival food ranging from brats and sauerkraut to barbecue sandwiches.
"It's a celebration to come together and celebrate the accomplishments we've had and move on as a community," Johnson said.
Scott and Catherine Wallace of Charleston brought their kids to the festival. They enjoyed face painting, pumpkin painting, sidewalk painting and a bounce room.
Scott works for Agsten Construction, just down the block on Washington Street. He wanted to bring his family down to have a good time and see the completed mural on the old Staats hospital building just down the street from the festival.
"It's an added bonus," Catherine said. "It's fun when we can all be together."
West Side Main Street started in 2005 to fill a void in economic revitalization, Johnson said. The grass roots community organization works closely with West Virginia State University, the West Side Neighborhood Association and the City of Charleston to connect businesses, ideas and community members to revitalize the area's business community.