The candidates for Erie mayor helped kick off Oktoberfest Friday evening at Saint Joseph Bread of Life Church on West 24th Street.

Democrat Joe Schember and Republican John Persinger both tapped the keg, which marks the start of the annual festival.

It highlights all things German with food, beer, music, clothing, indoor and outdoor activities, a Bavarian coffee house and fun for the children.

"It's been really busy," said Mo Trabold from St. Joe's Oktoberfest. "We've had our whole parish has been here all week. We've been working on it for months. We've had people baking pumpkin rolls. They've been making sauerkraut balls. Everybody chips in. It's a great for fellowship for our parish to get together."

The festival runs through Sunday.

More information on Oktoberfest is available here.

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