ALTON - St. Mary's Oktoberfest kicked off this afternoon with the annual keg tapping.

"Today is the kick of the festival officially," Erin Ventimiglia, Chairman of the Oktoberfest Committee, said. "We always have our honorary keg tappers, so that's a lot of fun. The pastor always says a blessing over the keg and it runs free until it's dry."

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This is the 10th annual Oktoberfest and there's not only new activities but plenty of new faces as well.

"We're super excited," said. "Every year it is a great time with the parish and the Alton community. We have a new pastor this year, lots of new parishioners."

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Oktoberfest will be going on until 11 tonight with live music, food, beer, games for the kids and much more.

Things start off again at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, with "Mass in the Grass."

"We love to invite the community," Ventimiglia said. "You don't have to be a St. Mary's parishioner to come, you don't have to be Catholic to come, we would love to see the whole town come out. As soon as mass in the grass finishes it's a mad dash for the German skillet meals. It's going to be a great time."

Ventimiglia also gave a big thank you to the Oktoberfest committee, the hundreds of volunteers and the Alton Police Department for all the help each year.

For more information and the full schedule of events visit

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Related Video:

Keg tapping at St. Mary's Oktoberfest

St. Mary's Oktoberfest 2016