Keyser is a beautiful city in West Virginia. The Main Street area holds some of the oldest buildings in the area. Alex McDonald and a committee of other Main Street business owners decided to plan an Octoberfest on October 26, 2013. This event took many months of planning and countless hours spent in meetings. Finally, on the day of the event, the planner of the event, Alex McDonald, started his day off at six o’clock in the morning ready to put on Keyser’s Octoberfest. McDonald drove to Keyser, WV and started closing Main Street down and setting up spots for the vendors to sell their merchandise. The vendors started showing up at the crack of dawn. The vendors, anxious to sell their specialty items only were charged ten dollars to set up. “This is an awesome set up fee. Most places around here charge an arm and a leg for a spot. Even worse, they want to take a percentage of your final sales. We don’t make enough to afford that!” Sally Hersh said. Sally made hand towels and household kitchen items to sell. There were over forty vendors involved in the Main Street bash.
While the day continued, McDonald had arranged for many performances to happen throughout the day. Starting at ten in the morning, there was a performance every hour until four o’clock in the evening. The bands included, Black Velvet, Forecast Calls for Flames, Highland Grass, performances by inspiration dancers, and the Rainbow Choir, and a local DJ who filled in between acts. There was always a constant crowd on Main Street. People would stop to support local business owners by eating at The Royal, shopping at the local thrift shop, taking a look around Daddio’s Exotic Pets, or even taking a browse into the local pawn shop. “Our main idea was to get people to come check out what Main Street can really be. There were over 700 people who attended the event, and with that we added business to our local business owners. It was a huge success.” Alex McDonald discusses. Alongside the Octoberfest, Keyser High School was hosting their annual Harvest Holiday. This event is held every year. It is similar to the Octoberfest because it has vendors there to sell goodies and it raises money for the school. McDonald thinks having the Octoberfest at the same time was good timing because people were out and about, so why not stop down to Main Street.
About a quarter of the way through the day, there was a bit of a setback. The power source was not reliable and ended up blowing a fuse causing a power outage. Many food vendors were angry and upset about this problem. The members of the board were not ready for this. However, thanks to many generous business owners, the solution was to plug in the extension cords into their stores’ outlets. They were extremely helpful in the issue. This definitely shows a sign of unity on Main Street in Keyser, which many argue is a problem in the reconstruction of it.
Lara Courrier, a local town member, told members of the board, “This event has improved so much since last year. The attendance is incredible and the amount of vendors and quality of items is excellent. I can’t wait until next year!” McDonald was very happy with the outcome of the day. It was obvious that the hard work of the Main Street committee certainly paid off.