WOODSTOCK—Conditions were perfect Saturday for the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
College students wandered from tasting booth to tasting booth sipping on an array of craft beers. Children ran around, dancing to the tune of Cazhmiere, a West Virginia band, belting out timeless rock ballads.
Autumnfest had the weather to match its name as the sweltering 90-degree heat earlier in the week subsided and clouds rolled in, drawing people out of their homes and to the festivities.
“If it had been 90 degrees today I know it would have impacted the crowd,” Dennis Dysart, president of the chamber said. “It was a treat for folks to throw on a pair of blue jeans and a sweatshirt and come out and enjoy the day.”
Autumnfest is important for the county chamber, Dysart said, as it is not only its largest fundraiser of the year but also serves as an attraction to bring people from outside the county.
Local hotels and restaurants filled up as people traveled from out of town to attend the numerous events on Saturday. A classic car cruise-in attracted a different set of guests than the log-splitting contest or the row of breweries that brought James Madison University students north.
Because there were so many things to see and do, Dysart said it was hard to gauge the crowd size as they kept shifting around.
“When the log splitting contest was going on, it didn’t seem like we had many people,” Dysart said, “but we had a huge concentration there. People transitioned back and forth from the harness racing. I think it’s been an excellent crowd.”
Dysart said the final figures weren’t available Saturday but presale tickets were the highest they’d ever been and he wouldn’t be surprised if it was the largest turnout the event has ever had.