ALTON - The St. Mary's Oktoberfest closed on Saturday and Sunday with large crowds and participation. The big highlight was the raffle and several claimed prizes.

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These are the Oktoberfest raffle prize winners:

1st Prize - Stephen Zeller ($10,000)

2nd Prize - Martha Lewis ($5,000)

3rd Prize - Catherine Williams ($3,000)

4th Prize - Jan Molloy ($1,000)

5th Prize - Sam Stemm ($1,000)

6th Prize - Ronnie & Roselyn Hannigan ($500)

7th Prize - Kathy Vest ($500)

8th Prize - Paul Ventimiglia ($500)

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9th Prize - Pat & Karen Heitzig ($500)

10th Prize - Gloria Bishop ($500)

"We are so pleased with how Oktoberfest went this year! The crowds were fantastic. "We were able to get together as a community after the last year has been wonderful beyond words!" said Mandy Lewis, who along with her husband Josh Cook, took over the reins as Oktoberfest Chairs in 2020 and had to navigate their very first one through the pandemic last year."

Josh Cook said everyone was really excited to be back for this year's Oktoberfest.

"We were excited to be back in person with the German bands, German beer, and food. The kids also have such a great time. It is a great community event. It is important to remember our German heritage. This church (St. Mary's) was founded by a lot of folks who immigrated from Germany and spoke German. We have one of those Bibles at home because of my wife's long family heritage with the church. It is really great to take a chance once a year on all the history that brought us to this point and take a moment and be thankful for what this church does for us. Every year, funds raised go for capital improvements to our buildings."

One of the highlights of Saturday was the annual keg tapping in the early afternoon.

Sunday featured the final with a beautiful Mass in the Grass at 11 a.m. at Garfield/Barth Park, then Big Shake Daddies, St. Louis Czech Express, and Back in the Saddle performed to close the Oktoberfest."

Charles Thomas also contributed to this story.

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