The skies were cloudy and the rain sprinkled down but that didn’t stop hundreds of participants from coming out to the 6th Annual Volksmarch.
The 5 kilometer walk, hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, began at 9 a.m., at Fort Bragg’s Smith Lake Recreational Area, Oct. 19.
“A volksmarch is a very traditional activity in Germany,” said Sabina Bryant, chief outdoor recreation for FMWR. “It is a non-competitive walk that began in Europe many years ago and Fort Bragg started the tradition here.”
The path led participants over several hills and through dark green pine trees.
“The nature walk on the trail is what it is all about,” said Bryant. “This event is geared towards Families and their pets. We want everyone to come out and enjoy the walk.”
Families showed up for the event despite the rain.
“This was our first time at the volksmarch,” said Sgt. James Schassburger, who completed the 5K with his wife Karen and their two small children. “We love to get out and do fun things on the weekends and we were excited to see what this was all about,” he said.
“The weather wasn’t the best but the scenery was great,” said Karen. “Our 5-year-old son Wyatt finished the entire route with us and he is excited about it.
“We try to make sure we stay active with the kids and this seemed perfect,” she said. “We are looking forward to future MWR events.”
The walk ended at a large finish line sign and many activities set up around the picnic area. Hayrides, pumpkin painting, and bounce houses were among some of the children activities. German food and beer was also available for purchase.
With a large crowd loud by cheering, was the pumpkin pie-eating contest was a success. This year there were two categories for adults and one for children.
“Go Nigel, Go!,” cheered GiGi Warren, a Department of Defense civilian, to her son at the pie-eating contest.
Nigel, 15, won the pie-eating contest for the children’s category while her dog Chloe, a Chihuahua came in 2nd place for the dog costume contest. Chloe, dressed in a bright green and yellow cheerleading outfit, received lots of attention.
“I love the volksmarch,” said Warren. “I come every year and it’s always nice just getting out and getting some fresh air with friends and Family. It was a lot of fun this year.”
Helping to set the German theme, was the Bavarian Brass Band, that played traditional music throughout the day.
They also played the chicken dance song, which brought laughs, dancing and chicken hats for the participants.
“Although the turn out was smaller than last year due to weather, we still had a great amount of people show up,” said Bryant. “The activities we set up were a great success and we look forward to next year’s volksmarch.”