The first Canadian Oktoberfest was a tent party where motorcycle enthusiasts celebrated the end of summer. The first festival began in 1967 and has been staggering its date ever since. If you love pancakes, parades, performances from world-class artists, good beer and fun family festivals, Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival is for you. In this blog post, we take a look at what you need to know as an attendee as well as highlights from the 30th annual Kitchener – Waterloo festival.
The story behind Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
The roots of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest date back to 1854, when city officials in Munich made an official decree to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria. That gave accountants and brewers two or three more weeks to settle up on transactions before having to make it through another Advent fast.
Less than 10 years later, some Canadians tuned in and decided they had some strong opinions about liquor. They had a rebuttal and it became what we now know as Canada’s (and one of Ontario’s) original craft brewers: Labatt Brewing Company.
As those employees went into retirement, it became apparent that sitting donuts around stoves had some health risks – like inhaling burnt sugar for example.
What will you find at Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest?
Visitors to Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest will find family activities, live music, food, beer tents, and all of the typical Oktoberfest celebrations. Wining and dining is inevitable with Bavarian food served by the most knowledgeable staff in this region. Reflect on your day at the festival with some German style beer, Sauerkraut or Schnitzel deep fried in oil; all while listening to German folk music in one of the few habitats where the original language is celebrated.
How to get tickets
There are a handful of ways to get tickets: Order them online, head to the festival box office located at the old SEARS catalogues building 9am-8pm, purchase tickets from an authorized seller like Chris the Girl (Chris the Girl has two stands located at ‘Fairgrounds Square’), or purchase tickets from any one of your fellow attendees.
This family-friendly event takes place on King Street beginning at 12:00 noon. The Opening Ceremonies are conducted by a Mayor or Member of Parliament from the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The celebration culminates with the raising of the lid from the commemorative cask filled with Oktoberfestbier as a signal to all those gathered that it is time to celebrate the day’s events by indulging in a stein of beer!
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has closed its doors for another year. As one of the biggest celebrations to be held in Canada it would be wrong not to see it through to the end.
The food at Kitchener; Waterloo; Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is one of the most popular parties in the entire world, and for good reason. One of the fantastic aspects of Kitchener; Waterloo; Oktoberfest is the unbelievable food. It’s hard to go wrong with any of it from chicken schnitzel, to goulash soup, to German chocolate cake.
Events during the nine day festival
Oktoberfest is a nine day celebration of Waterloo Region’s Bavarian roots, so there’s lots going on. There’s a charity pancake breakfast, a parade that goes from Kitchener to Waterloo, and a 5km run. Don’t forget to stop by the area’s wineries for some post-celebration wines.
“The Oktoberfest coffee mug is the perfect souvenir from this annual festival.”
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