Marti Jones of Dunbar set up this gem mining booth at the Buffalo Octoberfest. Children could pan for seashells, stones, sharks’ teeth and arrowheads from the “mine’s” sluice. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
Children dressed in costumes were rewarded for their creativity at the 34th Annual Buffalo Octoberfest held this past Saturday, October 15. All children who dressed up for spooky season were given $5 vouchers to spend at the 100+ vendors at the festival.
This is the second year that the festival has offered costume vouchers. Jessica Coulson, Octoberfest organizer, came up with the idea as a way to give children some spending money at the festival. She says that many area families are low income, and their parents may not have enough money to give them to purchase things. “The main purpose of the festival is to provide free activities for the kids,” said Coulson.
Other family friendly activities at the festival included a petting zoo, inflatables, pony rides, carriage rides, apple butter making, and music. The festival offered a variety of vendors, from handmade crafts, antiques, flea market items, and both carnival-style and homecooked food.
The Buffalo Octoberfest was started by Dick Howard, who operated the old Buffalo Shopping Center and was greatly involved in the local community. After his death, his daughter, Susan Howard, took up the mantle and continued the festival. Now Dick Howard’s granddaughter, Jessica Coulson, is the director of the Octoberfest, keeping both the family and community tradition going.