Behind the music, the food and the party, the church is at the center of Oktoberfest.
“We try to be the hands and feet of Christ in the community so it’s important that we can support that,” said Moe Trabold, the Oktoberfest Co-Chair.
The 150 year old St. Joseph’s Church does a lot for the Erie area.
For the last eleven years, the parish gets the bulk of its money from this weekend-long German festival.
Father Larry Richards said Oktoberfest is more than just a good time.
“It keeps us going. These funds are so important that’s why I always encourage ‘you gotta come, you gotta come help us out,” said Father Larry Richards, the church pastor.
Volunteers said the raffle is one of the biggest money makers.
Hundreds of people entered their name for a chance to take home the 25-thousand dollar prize, but coordinators said that’s not all that keeps people coming back every year.
“We have the Church and we’ve taken over the entire building over there and it was so big we had to come out and take over the street too so we’re taking over Erie,” said Trish Johnson, a volunteer.
As the festival grows, so do St. Joseph’s outreach progams.
Coordinators said depending on the weather the event raises between 50 and 75 thousand dollars.
Because as much as people love a good street festival, Oktoberfest shows they love a good cause too.