Thousands of spectators took to the streets of Bolingbrook Sunday afternoon as the village held its annual Pathways Parade and Oktoberfest celebration.
The crowd was greeted with extraordinary weather, as temperatures stayed in the 70s throughout the day and clouds were nowhere to be seen.
The parade began at Bolingbrook High School as Grand Marshall James Childress led the procession all the way to the Village Town Center. The parade, celebrating its 45th anniversary, had a more than 100 entries and featured a "Stars and Stripes Forever" theme, as a display of patriotic support.
The parade lasted two hours and featured local high schools, middle schools, public officials, campaigning politicians and The Jesse White Tumblers.
Many groups through candy and treats to the crowd and the streets were filled on both sides with spectators, many of whom made their way to the Oktoberfest where beer sampling and authentic German music was plentiful.
Frankie K and Company, which played German favorites, including "Roll Out the Barrel," "Danke Scheon," and the German Polka.
Frank Yakoukek, the band's keyboard and accordion player said the band has been around for years and played at many different locations.
"We love this, and we'll go anywhere that anyone will have us," he said.
Residents sat under the carnival tent with the band and sang along, danced and also gave some requests.
"This is our first time here and it's fun event," said Resident Rob Sholp as he sipped on a beer form Gordan Biersch microbrewery, the vendor and caterer of the event. "I'm German, so I love the beer and the music is good, too."
In addition to the parade, other fun activities for the 21-and-younger crowd included an inflatable jumper, a carriage ride from Noble Horse (based in Chicago), contests, clowns and costumes.
Contests included awards for authentic German dress and a beer stein contest, which allowed residents to display traditional German drinking mugs, some of which were family heirlooms.
Joe Pawlowicz, a winner of the stein contest with a piece that was handed down to him from a great uncle, had perhaps the most authentic stein of the day.
The stein was originally given to commemorate German soldiers for their service after World War I. He said it believed it was given out in 1909. The practice of giving steins to soldiers began after Franco-Prussian war, according to Pawlowicz.
"I saw a lot of American-made steins last year and I wanted to enter something that was authentically German," Pawlowicz said.
He said arrived early and enjoyed some food and music and then watched the parade.
"The love the Oktoberfest and I'm real glad the Village continues to hold it. It seems to be gaining popularity and I think holding with the parade draws attention to it."
The Oktoberfest is held by the Bolingbrook Arts Council and the parade is sponsored by the Village.
2010 Pathways Parade Awards
1st - Joyful Spirit Church
2nd - Dupage Township
1st - Boy Scout Troop 158
2nd - Seventh Adventist Church
Senior Gym and Dance
1st - Bolingbrook Park District Dance Force
2nd - Bolingbrook High School Cheerleaders
1st - Illinois Aviation Museum
2nd - Filipino Friendship Society
1st - Filipino Friendship Society
2nd – CN Railroad
1st - BHS Madrigal Singers
2nd -Bolingbrook Associated Little League
1st - Army Recruiting Station
2nd - Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church
Rick's Landscaping & Lawn Care
The Cub Scouts