There’s a secret to getting all the candy during a parade.
“Wave. Wave and smile,” Alex Rohr said.
The 10-year-old and his brother Carter, 7, both of Hays, showed off their bags Saturday afternoon after the Fort Hays State University Homecoming parade downtown, each more than half full of candy and trinkets tossed out by the parade entrants.
“Mom and Dad are going to a wedding today, so we can eat all this while they’re gone,” Carter said.
The boys were looking forward to next week’s Hays High School homecoming parade, which will be the third in a row for Hays, following Thomas More Prep-Marian High School’s last week.
Down the street, at Seventh and Main, Kennedy and Khloe, 2 and 4, sat in their red wagon, already begging their dad, Kyle Batling, to sign them up to be in next year’s parade.
Khloe said her favorite part of the parade was the dance teams. She wants to be a dancer herself so she can be in the parade in the future.
Despite a turn this week to fall weather — temperatures Friday and Saturday were in the 50s with cloud cover much of the day — the crowds turned out for Oktoberfest on Friday and FHSU Homecoming on Saturday.
At Friday morning’s Oktoberfest opening ceremony in Municipal Park, FHSU President Tisa Mason acknowleged the 46-year partnership between the Volga German Society and the university in presenting the celebrations in conjunction with each other.
An aspect of that partnership is a scholarship awarded to an FHSU student of Volga-German heritage each year. Alyssa Miller, Holdredege, Neb., was the recipient of the $500 scholarship.
Scholarship applications open in February, Nick Werth, president of the Vogla-German Society said and next year will also include a scholarship for students at North Central Kansa Technical College.
“We work very hard as Fort Hays does to make education affordable for students, but college is expensive and any bit that can help is appreciated,” NCK Tech President Eric Burks said.
Adding to the Oktoberfest festivities Friday was a new event — a beer stein holding contest. Contestants were required to hold a full glass beer mug in one hand, arm fully extended. Whoever held out the longest won $100. Second place received $50 and third place $25.
Payton Zweifel, an FHSU student from Waldo, beat out 16 other contestants to win the men’s division with a time of 7 minutes, 49 seconds.
“It felt like 20 pounds,” he said after celebrating by chugging his mug of beer.
The women bettered the men, in both numbers and time. Twenty-two women signed up, with Nicole Moser holding out for 8 minutes, 6 seconds.