The Ottumwa Courier


October 5, 2013

Oktoberfest's 40th goes smoothly


Kurtz didn’t do any judging since he was actually in the parade.

“I was promoting Holiday Nights n’ Lights, which is coming up [next] month.”

As nervous float builders checked weather predictions late Friday into early Saturday, there were questions about what they would do. They needn’t have worried.

“I think the whole week, compared to what the forecast said, we lucked out,” said Guiter.

That was especially apparent Saturday, the day which draws the most people to the streets of Ottumwa. Meteorologists had warned of possible severe thunderstorms Friday afternoon into parts of Saturday, including dangerous winds and large hail.

There was also an isolated chance for a tornado in southeast Iowa, the National Weather Service reported.

“They were talking about heavy rains early,” Guiter said. “We did get some rain, but by 9 a.m. you saw the sun peeking out. By 9:30, it was really nice out.”

The parade started at 10 a.m.

“We were very fortunate,” he said.

They weren’t quite as lucky when it came to interruptions to the march through downtown. Last year, trains at Market Street caused the whole parade to stop twice. This year, there were five trains the parade had to stop for; bands would just march in place. That may have accounted for nearly 30 minutes of the 2.5 hour parade.

By 1 p.m. Saturday, all the floats had moved on, city crews were out with street sweepers and leaf blowers and activities at the Oktoberfest Tent in the Hydro Parking Lot were under way.

“The drum line [competition] was very upbeat, very energetic,” Guiter said.

So after 40 years of Oktoberfests, is there anything these folks don’t like about the week-long event?

“After you work so long and make everything happen, the hardest part is getting up Sunday morning and tearing it all down,” Guiter said.

To see staff writer Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark



Text Only
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

AP National