People of all ages can pet and feed farm animals, like goats and alpacas, from Cristo Rey Ranch at Holy Family’s Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 7. The event begins at 4 p.m. with Mass, followed by the festival at 5 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Those who attend Holy Family Catholic Community’s Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 7, will find new reasons to celebrate.

New to the Fond du Lac event this year will be giant yard games, a cotton candy machine, trivia with a cash prize and a Makers Market, with unique items from local artisans.

Now in its third year, Oktoberfest was created in 2021 to honor the parish and state’s German roots. People have filled the Holy Family Prayer Garden ever since to enjoy live music, test their luck in raffles, and sample a variety of food, like bratwursts, German potato salad, and traditional Latin cuisine cooked up by the local Hispanic community.

An inflatable obstacle course and balloon twister were added in 2022.

“Our goal at Oktoberfest is to offer a little something for everyone, and with our new additions this year, there will be no shortage of entertainment,” Holy Family Catholic Community Pastor Fr. Ryan Pruess, said. “Since Oktoberfest started two years ago, it has become one of our parish’s favorite events, and we hope to make it one of the greater Fond du Lac community’s as well.”

Oktoberfest will kick off at 4 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, with Mass featuring readings and music in both English and German. At about 5 p.m., the festivities will commence in the Prayer Garden, where people can explore the Cristo Rey Ranch petting zoo, get balloon animals, play a giant game of Connect Four, take an up-close look at local public safety vehicles, race through an inflatable obstacle course, taste free cotton candy, and snap a photo with the Oktoberfest mascot, Fredrich the Oktoberfest Squirrel. A Makers Market featuring local artisans selling their creations will run on the festival’s east side and offer a great chance to purchase some unique items and gifts. The German folk band Dorf Kapelle will bring their musical talent to Oktoberfest, as they perform folk music from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, including waltzes polkas, and marches, as well as takes from “the Great American Songbook,”— all in authentic German attire.

In addition to the traditional Oktoberfest fare, attendees will have the chance to purchase Hispanic food, homemade desserts, and soups from Mr. and Mrs. Catering.

After Dorf Kapelle finishes its performance, the night will continue inside Holy Family Hall as trivia begins at 8:15 pm.

Admission to Oktoberfest is free, with food and raffle tickets available for purchase. In the event of rain, the festival will take place in Holy Family Hall. Parking will be available in the church’s west lot, with disabled parking available on the north side as well.