Oktoberfest arrives a little early in Williamsport this year.
The Gesang Verein Harmonia, a local organization founded in 1892, will hold its annual Oktoberfest celebration of music, dancing and German cuisine Sept. 29 at the club, 332 E. Seventh St.
Homestyle German dinners will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. in the dining room. Imported and domestic beers, as well as soft drinks, will be available at an additional charge. Music and dancing will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
The Harmonia chorus will sing German folk and popular songs and dancing will be accompanied by Walt Groller's internationally known Oktoberfest Band.
Grammy-nominated Groller began his life as a musician at age 4, when his Austrian-born parents bought him a midi accordion, or an accordion that can imitate other instruments.
"My mother used to sing Austrian songs to me when I was a kid," he said. "From there, I started to play them on the accordion and eventually started my first band at age 14."
Playing the midi accordion has taken Groller around the world. The Allentown-born musician has recorded 26 albums in both German and in English. He was inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame, and awarded the Golden Cross from the Austrian government for helping to maintain the bonds of friendship between Austria and the United States.
"Our music is different. It's our own style - ethnic music," he said. "They call it polka music here in the United States, but we also play country, rock 'n' roll and some oldies."
Advance tickets for dinner and-or dancing are available at the club or by calling Heidi or Bob Stopper at 244-7757.
Tickets for dancing will not be available at the door.