A celebration of all things German kicked off Friday in downtown Erie.

Oktoberfest returns with all the food, beer, and music that makes it a popular hit.

Brian Wilk was live from Oktoberfest Friday night with more.

Guten Abend. It’s more than just fun and games, it’s a great boost to the local economy. That’s three days of German food, German beer, both indoors and outdoors, with live music and even coffee and pastries.

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.

It takes about 150 volunteers to make Oktoberfest happen.

The festival continues through the weekend. It runs Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.