When Heather Spillman and John Kogut of Lindenhurst woke up Sunday morning to dark skies and the threat of rain, they briefly considered skipping the village’s annual Oktoberfest.
But not for long.
“We promised him,” Spillman said, gesturing toward her 6-year-old son, Lucas. “We had to come.”
Cuddling under a tent to take a break from the on-and-off drizzle, they watched as Lucas jumped excitedly in a nearby puddle. Regular festivalgoers for several years, they had already enjoyed their favorites: potato pancakes and the Oktoberfest beer.
“You just can’t miss the Oktoberfest,” Spillman said.
“No, never,” added Lucas. “It’s the best time of the year.”
While the crowd at times was thin, the rain-or-shine Oktoberfest went on, with most people snuggled in their hooded sweatshirts or huddled together under umbrellas. Children enjoyed carnival-type rides and games. Vendors sold jewelry, costumes and crafts. Food trucks lined the streets and the Bavarian Boys band performed in the shelter of a gazebo.
“It’s a fall festival, and as soon as we get a snap of the cool weather, people want to head outside,” said Kevin Sabella, governor of the Lindenhurst Moose Lodge, which served up an array of hot food to help everyone stay warm. The smell of hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and potato pancakes filled the air around their tents.
Jeff Fogarty, of West Babylon, said he has been bringing his two girls -- Kira, 6, and Kylie, 3 -- to the festival for years.
“They were up at 10 a.m. this morning, ready to go,” he said.
But he did note there is one downside to the event.
“It costs me, like, $100,” he laughed as he shelled out more money for the girls to try their hand at another game.
Photo: Lucas Spillman, 6, of Lindenhurst, jumped at the chance to play in the puddles at the village's Oktoberfest Sunday. (Oct. 7, 2012)