WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Bouncing back from COVID-related financial business losses is the inspiration behind what was a day of fall fun and foot traffic.
Hundreds turned out Saturday evening in downtown Wilkes-Barre to be part of the event that wrapped up just a few hours ago.
Live music performed by the “Popstar Drive Band” echoed throughout Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
Hundreds of people came out Saturday to the city’s second annual “Oktoberfest” celebration.
Cheers rang out for Mayor George Brown from a 21-and-up crowd enjoying all types of beer from the Susquehanna Brewing Company. Brown hosts many public events like this with a goal of more than just fun.
“We have to have these events. We have to have people come out. This helps the local businesses, the restaurants. You see they’re busy, and this is what public square should be used for,” said Mayor Brown.
Stein holding contests between band performances is a fan favorite at Oktoberfest.
“It burns. My arms were burning like, pretty bad,” said John Golightley and Brandon Hines, 1st & 2nd place in a stein holding a contest.
Plenty of food trucks and local craft vendors stayed busy, and many restaurants on the square were packed with patrons too, a most welcome sight since the pandemic.
“It’s revenue. It’s helping the business owners that lost the revenue the first two years. They’re making that money back hopefully now,” Mayor Brown told Eyewitness News.
Seeing the streets flooded with people is a good sign for diamond city partnership, the city’s downtown revitalization organization.
“As we’re still struggling to come out of the pandemic, events like Oktoberfest are even more important,” said Larry Newman, the executive director of Diamond City partnership.