AUBURN | It was a busy weekend on State Street.
A two-day event, the A.T. Walley Fall Fest, debuted on the street's downtown block between Dill and Genesee streets.
The celebration kicked off Saturday with an evening of music by The Fabulous Ripcords, drawing a huge crowd, according to A.T. Walley co-owner Bernie Simmons.
The festival continued through Sunday, when the celebration of fall kicked into full gear with a day full of food and music.
Beginning with breakfast, guests were welcome to omelets and Bloody Mary’s and prepare for the full day of festivities ahead.
Along with breakfast, as the sun rose on Sunday, the pig roast also started, slow cooking all day long for the pulled pork sandwiches that were just one of the many mouth-watering foods available, alongside brats, steamers and burgers.
By afternoon there was a crowd of several hundred people gathered inside the tavern and all over the State Street block, taking in all the food and music provide by the Honky Tonk Hindooz and Joe Whiting.
Simmons estimated that over the course of the two days as many as 1,200 people attended the celebration.
“This is Auburn,” Simmons said. “People come out for great food, great music and a great time out. ... A great turnout, a lot of great people having fun."
Among the many attractions for guests were a variety of foods and beverages for sampling.
Local businesses like Beek & Skiff Apple Orchard and Toro Run Winery were on hand with samples of their various beverages.
Also on hand was local Sam Adams distributor Dave Gilmore with Wright Beverage.
In the spirit of the season and embracing the fun of the day, Gilmore presented a unique challenge where competitors tried their skills holding up a tall stein filled with Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. Whoever held the stein up the longest was the winner, with everyone who tried getting a Sam Adams hat and winners taking home steins.
“Sam Adams is doing this nationally for Octoberfest,” Gilmore said. “It has been great. We’ve had a lot of people stop by and give it a try. It has been a lot of fun.”
Continuing the spirit of Octoberfest, A.T. Walley also had several special Octoberfest beers available.
With a great turnout and so many people coming out to enjoy all Fall Fest had to offer, Simmons said that this is just the beginning of what he anticipates will be a yearly celebration.
“This is the first annual,” Simmons said. “We want this to become something people can look forward to and put on their calendars every year.”