After participating in Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County's costume contest, Jacie and Ray Scanland explained that the festival was gemütlichkeit, which roughly translates to "when everything feels right."
"Dressing for the event adds to the fun. You want to look German and embrace the culture," said Jacie Scanland, of Hanover, Pennsylvania. "I enjoy the whole atmosphere — the beer, the food, everything. It's a great place to get together with friends."
According to Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County Chairwoman Dawn Wittfelt, Oktoberfest was a way for the Sykesville, South Carroll, Mount Airy, Bonds Meadow and Westminster Rotary clubs to "make a significant amount of money to help people."
All proceeds from the event go "right back into the community," she said.
Wittfelt said the festival includes a lot of free activities for kids, authentic German food, beer brewed by Dog Beverage Co. in Westminster, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, a moon bounce, mechanical bull riding, dancing, vendors and a silent auction.
Rotary Clubs of Carroll County host 5th annual Oktoberfest
Westminster Rotary Club past president Jaclyn Mathias-Jones described the festival as "very family-friendly."
"It's cheap enough that if you have a family of five you can still have a good time," Mathias-Jones said. "You're able to come out and have a good time without breaking the bank and there's plenty of stuff for the kids and the adults."
Rod Mateo, of Alexandria, Virginia, said he and his family are always on the lookout for events that donate money to a good cause.
"I hope that this event grows," Mateo said. "I think it's a great way to celebrate old-world culture."
"I think it's a good way to represent your heritage and learn more about the culture," added Mateo's son, Gabe, 11.
Franz Humer, of Baltimore, dressed in lederhosen because "it gets you in free."
"It's a fun way to meet people and have a good time," said Humer, who originally hails from Austria. "It's basically like Americans celebrating Thanksgiving. It's a holiday to celebrate the harvest and good beer."
Peter Lodgen, of Joppa, said he was born in Germany and "these outfits are similar to what I wore growing up."
"We always bought them two sizes too big so we could grow into them," Lodgen said.
Jeff Hess and his significant other, Ann Roth, both of Frederick, have attended the event for four years.