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German spirit thrives and rubber ducks race at Oktoberfest

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CHAMBERSBURG - Kevin Spencer already knows his plans for next October.

He's planning to come back to the Chambersburg Oktoberfest, but this time he'll be more prepared for the day's activities by wearing the proper attire. He was dressed in regular street clothes on Saturday, but he plans to wear a German outfit next year to really get into the spirit.

"I can't wait until next year when I bring my own pair of lederhosen," Spencer said. "I'll definitely be coming back. It's pretty cool."

Lederhosen are leather breeches that can be either knee-length or ankle-length. If Spencer does follow through on his declaration to wear the traditional German apparel next year, he might be able to give his boss JP Guse a run for his money. Guse had a leg up on the crowd as he was wearing a pair of black lederhosen over a white dress shirt and black shoes, one of the few attendees wearing a costume of any kind.

Spencer and Stephanie Eberly were trying German food and beer Saturday afternoon at Oktoberfest, Spencer sampling an Irish cider and Eberly tasting a dish consisting of sausage and noodles. They were at the Oktoberfest courtesy of Guse, who along with his family, returned for this year's Oktoberfest.

Chambersburg's Oktoberfest was based off Oktoberfests in Germany, complete with food and drink. This was the third year for the Oktoberfest, held across the street from the Historic Texas Lunch restaurant, which gave visitors the chance to sample different types of German food and beer, including brats, pulled pork, apple strudel, coleslaw, and cabbage. There were 10 different types of beer, including one known as Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen.

Along with the food and drinks, there were different contests during the day, including for best costume and who traveled furthest to attend. There was also a stein-holding contest, in which contestants held a large stein filled with drink for as long as they could. Contest winners were not known at deadline.

"If you go to Oktoberfest in Germany, you'll see the same thing," event coordinator Scott Fish said.

Adults weren't the only ones who could have some fun during Saturday's events. One Oktoberfest activity that was for all ages was the Duck Derby, in which tiny rubber ducks were released into the creek by the fire station on Second Street and race down toward Chambers Fort Park.

Owners of the ducks finishing in the top four and the owner whose duck was last across the line received monetary prizes, with $500 going to first place, $250 to second place, $100 to third place, $50 for fourth place, and $25 to the final duck.

Owners of the ducks finishing first through fourth were Elsie Blouch, Alchemy Tomlinson, Angie Bechtel, and Verette Buckner. The owner of the last place duck was not known at deadline.

Going in last minute paid off for Tomlinson, as she and her brother waited to get their ducks. She didn't know her duck had placed second until it was announced, and when it was, she had a mix of surprise and excitement going on. With the second place finish, Tomlinson won $250, but didn't know what she was going to do with her winnings.

"To be honest, I'm not really sure about that yet," Tomlinson said.

David Barr, 717-881-7020