Greek Festival started off a several month span of festivals with a bang. Some of the highlights for people was the folk dancing routines.

Next came the Amerimasala Parade with all of it’s color. Then Italian Fest took over Saint Paul’s Church.

From the Zabawa Polish Festival with it’s specialty food, to the clans competing in the Highland Games and Scottish Festival at PennWest Edinboro; of course the nearly endless Guinness and music of Irish Fest and finally Oktoberfest to close out the year.

Each and every culture celebrating where they come from and welcoming others to enjoy it’s traditions.

“In my time as Mayor, we’ve had people from 108 different countries sworn in as U.S. citizens at our federal courthouse,” said Erie Mayor Joe Schember. “We’re usually swearing in about 500, at least 500 every year. It’s great to see, I love the diversity Erie has and this is a great way to celebrate it.”

That diversity makes the Erie region a melting pot for all sorts of individuals to be able to feel at home in.

The pastor of Saint Joseph’s Church said it’s really important to celebrate your roots, but really everyone is welcome at these celebrations.

“It’s great that we’re celebrating German heritage, but we celebrate the Greeks, we celebrate the Slovaks, the Polish and it’s fantastic that we all celebrate our beginnings,” said Fr. Larry Richards, pastor of St. Joseph Church.

Meanwhile, Richards said this year was a record-breaking Oktoberfest, saying they had people visit from Nebraska, Texas, New Jersey, and Illinois.

“It’s an important reality that we know as Americans, we celebrate everybody, but we never forget where we come from,” Fr. Richards went on to say.