(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Get out your lederhosen — it’s time for Oktoberfest!

The 16th annual St. Joseph Church Bread of Life Community Oktoberfest will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, at St. Joseph (147 W. 24th St.) in Erie. The festival continues through the weekend. It’s 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.

That’s three days of German food, German beer, both indoors and outdoors, with live music and even coffee and pastries.

“The biggest expectation is lots of people. My Husband and I went to Oktoberfest three years ago for the first time, and there were 10,000 people there on opening night,” said Shannon Barry who is the event co-organizer with her husband, Michael. “It’s a big crowd and everybody comes out for the great food and great beer.”

The main dinners — a choice of pork and sauerkraut, sauerbrauten or Bavarian goulash, all served with two sides — will be sold inside. Outside fare will feature bratwurst and other traditional German food. This year, the beer tent will have live music.

“That’s new this year — in the past, the beer tent normally has piped-in music,” Barry said.

Live music will be a mainstay throughout all three days. Local band, The Groove, will perform beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday on the Main Stage. The Bavarian Coffee House entertainment features a new artist practically every hour each day.

Also new this year is a children’s area. Students from Gannon University will be running special programs in the children’s area, with prizes and face painting. That will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to more than 175 baskets up for raffle, this year’s Oktoberfest will see a 2022 BMW Z4 sDrive30i (or $50,000) raffled off. Only 3,000 tickets will be sold for the raffle. According to the event website, the winner doesn’t need to be present to claim the grand prize (the car), but they will need to be present to claim other prizes for additional drawings from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“There’s a lot more excitement due to the fact that people are able to get out and enjoy and dance to live music. I’ve been to every festival all summer because I love the festivals in Erie. The crowds are bigger and people are excited to come out,” Barry said.

It takes about 150 volunteers to make Oktoberfest happen. Shannon and Michael Barry moved to Erie three years ago. They’re relatively new parishioners of the church. (“We have lived lives of service. We were volunteering at St. Joseph’s before we became parishioners. We walk into a room with our hand up ready to volunteer,” Barry said.) They gravitated to Oktoberfest because it’s near and dear to them. They met each other while they were in the military and stationed in Germany.

“German food and German beer takes me back to a time when I was very happy,” Shannon Barry said. “We hope to see as many people as we can this weekend. The odds for the car are outstanding — we’re only selling 3,000 tickets. It’s a great chance to win a great car, and it’s a fun party.”