Burke Church Hosts Oktoberfest

Burke Church Hosts Oktoberfest

The Kings Park German Band performs during the 2015 Oktoberfest Volksmarch.

The Kings Park German Band performs during the 2015 Oktoberfest Volksmarch. Photo by Steve Hibbard.

About 50 people took part in the sixth-annual Oktoberfest Volksmarch despite the pouring rain on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke. Presented by the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers, the event included a 5K or 10K walk (three or six miles) and 24-mile Biketoberfest bike ride around Burke Lake (with 14 cyclists participating), music by the Kings Park German Band and German bratwurst.


Bob Westin, of Springfield, plays the stumpf fiddle with the Kings Park German Band during the Oktoberfest Volksmarch at Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke.

As part of the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers (NVV), the club hosts nine year-round walks in the area, including Burke, Fairfax, Alexandria, Reston and Dykes Marsh, among others. A volksmarch, literally translated means "people's walk," and is a leisurely walk through a scenic, historic, interesting area over a pre-determined route.

"We've been doing this for six years," said organizer Steve Brown, who led the bike ride. "We were hoping for 150 people but it all depends on the rain." He called the day a unique event that brings together four organizations -- members of the church, bicycle club, Volksmarchers and the band. With his wife Susan, the couple has done Volksmarches on all seven continents.

He added: "It encourages folks to increase their fitness year-round. I think it helps connect people with the church, the bike club and the Volksmarches."

"I think the main thrust is meeting people with an interest in health and friendship," said Peter Shaulis, NVV member. He added: "The 10K can be pretty strenuous; there's no time-keeping with these walks. It is not a race; you do it at your own pace."

"It's a social organization where you can keep track of your walks, where you've done them, and the distances -- in booklets that keep your records," said his wife Pat Shaulis, a member of NVV.

The next Volksmarch 10K and 5K Walks will be held Oct. 3-4 at Fort Belvoir, Va. For details, visit www.ava.org or contact Kristin Mayer at kristin.b.mayer.naf@mail.mil.