Friday we are saying “guten tag” to one of Erie’s most popular festivals. The 17th annual Oktoberfest is underway in Erie.

Oktoberfest is underway and people attending said they are thrilled to return every year for the festivities.

Members of the Erie Community are gathering at St. Joseph Church to celebrate German heritage and culture in this year’s Oktoberfest at St. Joseph church.

The priest of the church said the parish has been around since 1867.

“We keep going and so we did this and people come from all over as you can see and it’s fantastic we have great food we have great music we have great dancing,” said Fr. Larry Richards, priest, St. Joseph Church.

The priest said every year the festival features a German car to raffle off on sunday to people attending Oktoberfest.

This year the car is a 2023 BMW or $50,000 which is a big draw to the festival.

“The biggest thing is the car every year we get a different German car. We’ve had porsches this year we have a BMW,” Fr. Richards said.

Fr. Richards said this year’s Oktoberfest has brought more people together than in year’s past.

“We are more crowded this year than we’ve been in forever friday night we went over a thousand things so far,” he said.

One participant said she has attended Oktoberfest for 52 years, both in germany and in erie since it began. She said the food in Erie is homemade compared to in Germany’s Oktoberfest.

“I love it it’s crowded you see everybody it’s friendly the food is good the beer is good the music is good you see people you haven’t seen in awhile so it’s all good,” said Cheryl Stephany, Oktoberfest attendee.

Another participant said she would encourage anyone to visit the festival and partake in all there is to offer. She said the Erie Community helps to make the Oktoberfest feel like home.

“Being in Erie you always know people that you can socialize with and a lot of people come here and they’re in a good mood and they enjoy eating and the music and socializing with each other so it’s a fun evening,” said Cathy Dammeyer, Oktoberfest attendee.

“Anything that brings Erie together is a great thing so our people come and they work really hard and all the people from the city of erie come and erie needs to do more and more to bring everybody together,” Fr. Richards went on to say.

Oktoberfest continues through the weekend from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.