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EVERYTHING ABOUT OKTOBERFEST IN CANADA

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So you’re ready for Oktoberfest, eh? Or maybe you’ve just returned from Munich and you’re not ready to stow your lederhosen just yet, eh? I’m going to keep saying “eh?” until you realize that I’m talking about the world’s second largest Oktoberfest celebration, found in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, OKTOBERFEST IN CANADA. If you’ve ever wanted to see what a moose looks like in a dirndl, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is probably your best chance.

KITCHENER-WATERLOO OKTOBERFEST | HISTORY

The first ever Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo—North America’s greatest Bavarian festival—began with a traditional keg tapping on October 14, 1969. (They’re actually pros at this because it’s almost exactly like tapping a maple tree.) Before this, the local German club had hosted a smaller version of an Oktoberfest. Entrepreneurial Canadians they are, they saw this as a great chance to birth a much larger tourism event to attract visitors to Kitchener-Waterloo. In other words, $$ CHA-CHINGGG! $$

Oktoberfest Kitchener Waterloo Canada

Oktoberfest Kitchener Waterloo in Canada is one of the 2nd largest celebrations of the original festival.

The local German community supported this venture (unsurprisingly) enthusiastically and they even got a tourism official from Munich, Germany on board. They started their CANADA VISA FROM CHILE
Kitchener-Waterloo with just $200 and probably a lot of hoping they don’t screw this up. After just five days they’d already attracted almost 75,000 visitors who drank 57,000 gallons of beer and ate 50,000 pounds of sausages. Germans: go big or literally go home, eh? Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo is now celebrated as Canada’s largest Thanksgiving celebration. Wait… what?

KITCHENER-WATERLOO OKTOBERFEST | WHEN/WHERE/HOW MUCH

Today, Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo, featuring Canada’s most famous Thanksgiving Day parade, takes place annually over nine days but let me explain something first: Thanksgiving in Canada takes place on the second Monday in October each year. We learn something new every day, eh? Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo begins the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving and ends the Saturday after.

Unlike Oktoberfest in Munich that takes place in one central location, Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo takes place in many locations around the city. Spread the love; it’s the Canadian way! The Kitchener Willkommen Platz is the official hub of Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo and is located in the downtown Kitchener City Hall. This Bavarian-style village is the spot for daily entertainment, activities, food and beverages, souvenirs, miscellaneous visitor information, and of course, a festhalle! Spread the beer; that’s the German way.

The rest of Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo is spread out among 17 festhallen and around town at over 40 cultural events. Each festhallen provides visitors a unique experience but all provide food and beer (and probably other things that aren’t beer, but like, why would you?), traditional music and dancing, and are operated by local German clubs. Here’s a map where you can find and collect them all!

The cost for attending Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo depends on when you attend and which festhallen you plan to get your drink on, in. You’ll have to check this ticket page for those details or Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo will have come and gone before I finished typing up all the options.

Oktoberfest Kitchener Waterloo

While the original in Munich is still the best, Oktoberfest in Canada comes close.

OKTOBERFEST KITCHENER-WATERLOO | WHAT TO EXPECT

Though Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo is not the international spectacle the one in Munich is, it’s still North America’s largest and in charge-est. Each year an average of 700,000 visitors show up to Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo to celebrate beer, German culture, and, apparently, giving thanks.

Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo’s grand Thanksgiving Day parade is the toast of Canada and is the only major televised parade in the country. And with a cast of characters like Onkel Hans, Tante Frieda, and their hilarious beer stein nephews, that’s absolutely a parade we can get down with.

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