Posted on October 13, 2015
If you’re from Waterloo Region, you already know that it has a strong German heritage. After all, Kitchener used to be called Berlin! Given that the Festival is well underway, I thought I would take this opportunity to post a little bit about the history of Oktoberfest both in Germany and within our Region, as well as providing some information about some of the great family friendly events taking place over the next few weeks!
Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany, and is the world’s largest and longest running Volksfest, which is a “Beer Festival and Traveling Funfair.” More than 6 million people from around the world attend the event every year, which had its inaugural celebration in 1810. As we all know, large amounts of beer are consumed during the event, with a whopping 7.7 million liters of Oktoberfest beer served during the Festival in 2013 alone! Delicious traditional food, including (but not limited to!) bread dumplings, roast chicken, cheese noodles, and Sauerkraut, is consumed in very large quantities. Many cities across the world model Munich’s event with their own Oktoberfest celebrations, and Kitchener-Waterloo is proud to be the host of the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world! The Festival officially kicked off last week with the Keg tapping at Kitchener’s City Hall, and the festivities have begun at various locations throughout the Region.
Celebrations begin have begun at the various festhallen across the Region, including the Alpine Club, Concordia Club, Hubertshaus, Schwaben Club, Transylvania Club, and Bingemans’ own Kool Haus, among others! You can check out info on the various Festhallen, and purchase tickets to attend on the Oktoberfest website. The festhalls are open throughout the week, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy traditional German fare, beer, and fun!
Aside from enjoying beer and traditional Oktoberfest fare in the Festhallen, there are tons of other family friendly events taking place in the Region throughout the duration of the festival.
Until Sunday, October 18th, take a #Hansie (Selfie with Onkel Hans or Tante Frieda), and you could win! If you are one of the three winners of the grand prize, you and three friends will get to enjoy great food, complimentary beverages, and a souvenir prize package at the Taste of Oktoberfest II culinary event. You can check out the contest rules HERE.
If you love traditional Oktoberfest food, you’ll certainly enjoy OktoberLICIOUS. Until Sunday the 18th, a number of local restaurants are offering a prix fixe menu program with beer pairings, so you’ll get to experience the taste of Oktoberfest at a great price! You can check out a list of participating restaurants and their special Oktoberfest menu offerings HERE!
The Oktoberfest/Thanksgiving parade is one of the most popular family friendly Oktoberfest events, and it took place yesterday, October 12th at 8:30 am. The route was revised this year due to construction, and began in Kitchener instead of Waterloo to the delight of parade attendees in Kitchener! Prior to the parade, hundreds of locals participated in the KW Oktoberfest 5K run. Pledges raised supported Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region.
And if that’s not quite enough for you, there’s more than 20 family and cultural events taking place over the next six days. Check out the Oktoberfest calendar HERE for more info, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay connected throughout the duration of the festival!