Oktoberfest attracts thousands to Martinsville

The face painting booth run by New Life Community Church was a popular spot for kids during Oktoberfest on Saturday.

By Kim Barto Meeks

An estimated 8,000 people filled the streets of uptown Martinsville on Saturday, October 5 for Oktoberfest. 

It was the 40th anniversary of the free street festival, and “one of our best,” said Kimberly Keller, Uptown Entrepreneurial Development Manager for the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Miriam Carter, age 5, shows off the face painting she got at Oktoberfest on Saturday.

“We have heard many, many great comments about the large number of individuals who attended the festival, and the wide variety of things to do at the event,” she said.

Rachel Chandler, owner of Rumplestiltskin’s, wore a fairy-tale gown as she made custom name pendants out of wire for customers at Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest takes its name from a two-week-long beer and folk festival celebrated in southern Germany, so the Martinsville event featured some food and music with a German theme. One DJ played authentic Oktoberfest music, Keller said, along with more modern music in the beer garden set up in the Bridge Street parking lot. The B99.9 country music station also played near the kids’ activities on Broad Street.

“Attendees commented about having the best of both worlds,” Keller said.

Festival-goers competed in lip sync and dancing contests, where they could win Uptown Bonus Bucks to spend at shops in uptown Martinsville. The event also featured kids’ activities, a mime artist, and numerous vendors selling art, crafts, holiday decorations, jewelry and more. Food for sale ranged from German specialties to traditional festival fare like funnel cakes, BBQ, hamburgers, hotdogs, ice cream, snow cones, fish, chicken, and coffee.

Julia Hollandsworth of United Way and Mandy Folman of Southern Area Agency on Aging sell raffle tickets as a fundraiser for Martinsville-Henry County Crimestoppers during Oktoberfest.

“Oktoberfest is always such a great festival for all members of the family, as there is something for everyone,” Keller said. “We would love to thank all who attended the festival as a patron, vendor, or as a sponsor. Without our sponsors, we could not host this festival.”

Children enjoyed carnival rides, a giant inflatable slide, and a rock-climbing wall at Oktoberfest.

This year’s sponsors included B99.9 Southern Virginia’s Country Station, Chick-fil-A (food court sponsor), Danville Distributing, Martin Plaza Furniture Outlet, URW Community Federal Credit Union (Platinum sponsor), ValleyStar Credit Union, and VisitMartinsville.

Keller also thanked the City of Martinsville’s staff. “They play a huge part in allowing this festival to continue. Between the Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Public Works, and so many others within the City, they help us to make sure the event is safe, clean, and efficient. We can’t thank them enough.”





3-8: About 8,000 people filled the streets of uptown Martinsville on Saturday, October 5 for the 40th annual Oktoberfest. The free festival featured music, kids’ activities, a beer garden, and numerous vendors selling food, art, crafts, holiday decorations, jewelry and more.








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