Just before 6 p.m. Friday night, hundreds were already lined up along Fredericksburg’s Main Street for the opening festivities of the annual Oktoberfest, a three-day celebration of German heritage. The smell of schnitzel and sausage (and sounds of polka music) filled the air. There were lederhosen in every style, a sea of felt hats, and dozens of German beers on tap during the merry night. Fifth-generation Fredericksburgian Joe Salinas calls the event the town’s “the unofficial homecoming” for locals, and we met others who journeyed far to be there, like one couple who drove seven hours from El Paso. Everyone seemed downright thrilled to be there, and we caught up with many Texans who brought creative fashion twists to their traditional German garb for a look that was all their own.