Hazen welcomes autumn with large celebration
By Daniel Arens
It seemed as though summer had decided on a brief reunion with Hazen during the large weekend festival that celebrates the season of autumn.
Oktoberfest involved a host of activities for all ages, and the beautiful weather meant that large numbers of people were able to take advantage of the opportunities to partake in events and enjoy the company of one another.
A Main Street concert by country music star Gwen Sebastian, which began at 8 p.m. on Sept. 26, was the culmination of the three-day celebration. Hundreds of people attended the concert, including one family that drove all the way from Hague, N.D. to watch Sebastian perform live.
Sebastian’s vocal and stage talents kept the audience fully engaged for two hours of nonstop music. Although many teenagers gathered near the stage to be closest to the singer, sprinkled among them were people of all ages, including little kids and elderly audience members. Everyone, however, was filled with the same flare and passion for the music. Sebastian won particular applause during active engagement with fans at the stage and in a memorable moment where she brought her parents on stage to sing with her.
Sebastian was not the only nighttime music on Main Street. Local DJ Paulie Lorenzano followed up Sebastian’s concert with his own performance, and a street dance was held for teenagers the previous night. All of the musical events gave residents of Hazen and neighboring communities the opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather for outdoor fun.
Beer tasting at the Hazen Golf Club kicked off the Oktoberfest events. The event, including a competition for who could hold a full stein of beer with arm extended for the longest period of time, was appropriate to Oktoberfest’s original function, a German holiday in Munich that was particularly noted as a festival for trying a wide variety of different kinds of beer.
A color run early on Saturday morning boasted strong attendance, with 72 registered runners, including many kids. Joel Wiedrich took 1st place in the run, which began at 9 a.m. at the All Seasons Arena and involved runners taking the Hiway Express underpass and running along the bike path to the railroad crossing and back. Snacks and water were provided to runners following their completion of the race. Although there were many runners, a large number of people chose to walk the route instead.
An Arts and Crafts show hosted at Hazen City Hall Sept. 26 brought in a wide variety of different crafts and products to display, many of which could be purchased by attendees. The show was open throughout the day, and corresponded in part with a pie and ice-cream social also held in the building.
For younger kids hoping to engage with the warm weather, a wide selection of different opportunities for fun was provided outside the Hazen Public Library, including a bouncy house, inflatable slide, balloon animals, face painting, and origami.
Other Oktoberfest events included a fleischkuekle feed and free movie at Cinema Flix with the purchase of concessions.