For the last five years, St. Agnes Parish has hosted its annual Oktoberfest on its parish grounds in Fort Wright. Jason Collins, the chair of the St. Agnes Oktoberfest Committee, plans the family-friendly event each summer. This year’s festival will take place from Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29. We spoke with Collins to learn more about the parish’s yearly Oktoberfest.

Can you tell me a bit about how and why the St. Agnes Oktoberfest was started?

The parish started it to help out the school. It’s a great event—the community comes out in droves to supports us. The first year, it was unbelievable. All the people came out in the horrible weather we had. It was Friday night, raining with a high of 50 degrees, but people were so excited about the event that they came out and supported the community and the school anyway. It was wonderful.

What types of food and drinks will be offered for festivalgoers?

Well, we definitely won’t run out of food or drinks. One of our specialties is our goetta burger, which is Glier’s Goetta. We also do a goetta Rueben on a pretzel bun. We have your standard bratwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers. We also have LaRosa’s pizza, popcorn and a bake sale—we have the holy doughnuts from the Knights of Columbus and soft drinks and beer, of course.

What kind of activities and entertainment will be at the St. Agnes Oktoberfest this year?

A We have things for all ages, from the kids to the adults. We have games and a great lineup of entertainment. We have a band each night—Friday night we’ve got Doghouse playing, Saturday night we have DV8 and on Sunday we have the Derek Alan Band playing. We have your traditional gambling games, like wheel games for the adults. We have a kid’s area with carnival rides, obstacle courses, soccer darts, basketball shoot and inflatables for kids of all ages.

There’s a lot of Oktoberfests in the area and all around the world. What makes yours special?

Our community. We try to put a good product out there and make it family friendly. As far as pricing wise, we want you to come back for three days where you can afford it for all three days. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere all three days—there’s not one day where we say, “Hey, this is more of an adult type of day.” We want it to be family friendly and we want it to be good for the community.

What is your favorite part of the event?

Seeing everybody enjoying themselves is really what makes it worthwhile. We put in hundreds of hours of work, and to see the success and the kids enjoying themselves, adults enjoying themselves and friends and family enjoying themselves is what makes it worthwhile. I just appreciate the community support. It’s very flattering and very humbling to see everybody coming out and supporting the event year after year.

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