Traditions aren’t things frozen in time. They’re meant to grow and change along with the community that celebrates them. This October, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is tapping the keg on 53 years of celebrating German heritage, food, dance, culture, and gemütlichkeit.
Celebrating while keeping everyone safe is top of mind for this year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest President Tim Beckett said adapting to step 3 restrictions has allowed the team to plan more live events this year.
“The exciting part is that we’re able to do a few more things in person, allowing us to see people again. We can all enjoy good food, good drink, and good music with other people rather than virtually this year,” added Becket.
One of the newest additions to the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest line-up is the WunderWagen. The mobile festival experience will be showing up at community events, bars, and restaurants throughout Oktoberfest. The WunderWagen includes live bands playing classic favourites and current hits to get people of all ages dancing and celebrating the fall.
“The WunderWagen is a great addition. It gives us an opportunity to take Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest to the community versus the community coming to Oktoberfest,” said Becket.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest WunderWagon
This year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest events
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Opening Ceremonies
Friday, September 24 at noon | Live stream and CTV
Celebrate the start of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest with a live stream of the opening ceremonies starting at noon. This year’s open ceremonies will come to you live from the Waterloo Region International Airport and include live music from The Golden Keys and dancing from TCK Dance Group. It wouldn’t be an opening ceremony without a traditional keg tapping. In addition to the live stream, the opening ceremonies will be broadcast on CTV Southwestern Ontario.
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Celebrating Oktoberfest at local restaurants
September 24 – October 11 | Around Waterloo Region
Across Waterloo Region, local restaurants are becoming Oktoberfest Micro-Festhallen during the festival. Participating restaurants and bars will feature live Oktoberfest music and dancing, live streams of festival events, special food and beverage pairings, keg tappings, and maybe even a visit from everyone’s favourite onkel, Onkel Hans. You’ll find Micro-Festhallen at Belmont Village’s Arabella Park, Waterloo’s Morty’s Pub, the Heidelberg Restaurant and Tavern, and more.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade CTV Special
October 11 at noon | Live steam on CTV.ca and CTV
Don’t worry about getting up early to save your spot for the parade. CTV Southwestern Ontario and Piller’s Fine Foods are presenting an hour-long look back at Oktoberfest parades of the past. The parade is Canada’s largest Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the special will feature treasured moments and fan-favourite floats.
September 25, October 2, and October 9 | Live stream
Oktoberfest is a family celebration! This year, children can participate online with art programs from ArtShine, interactive storytime with Kitchener Public Library, making potato pancakes with The Culinary Studio, and even learning how to yodel with The Golden Keys.
KW Oktoberfest Mascots Onkel Hans and Tante Frieda
October 9 | THEMUSEUM, Downtown Kitchener
Rock out Oktoberfest with the LGBTQ+ community with tri-Pride’s Pride-toberfest at THEMUSEUM in Downtown Kitchener. The night features dancing and music from DJ Jayson Spank, BoylesqueTO, and Sassy Ray.
Celebrate at our local festhallen
September 24 – October 16
The heart of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is our festhallen — and this year, we’re able to celebrate together with COVID-19 precautions and capacity limits in place. Enjoy excellent German cuisine, beer, and entertainment from The Alpine Club, Bingemans, Concordia Club, The Schwaben Club, and Transylvania Club. Each club offers something different. Here are a few options to explore:
- Concordia Club has lunch and keg tapping on September 24 at noon.
- The Alpine Club has curbside pickup available for all your favourites on September 24 and 25 and October 1, 2, 8, and 9.
- The Schwaben Club has live music from Ansambel Gregoric and The Golden Keys during their Oktoberfest celebrations. You can purchase tickets for September 24 and 26, October 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15, and 16.
Taste of Oktoberfest
October 1 | Online
Prepare your own Bavarian feast at home with The Culinary Studio. This online cooking class includes the ingredients you’ll need to prepare a fantastic German meal in your kitchen. The Culinary Studio’s amazing chefs Jody O’Malley and Kirstie Herbstreit will entertain you as you bring Oktoberfest into your home.
Oktoberfest [email protected]
October 9 | Live stream
Experience Gemütlichkeit at home with Oktoberfest [email protected]. The event features live music, entertainment, and more for the entire family. You can even purchase an Oktoberfest Local Box to make it feel like you’re sitting in your favourite festhallen!
Visit www.oktoberfest.ca to learn more about the events. Prosit!
Alex Kinsella is a freelance writer and marketer based in Waterloo Region. He’s the guy behind TL;WR – Waterloo Region’s weekly events newsletter. He’s worked with some of Canada’s most well-known tech companies in roles including customer success, development, product management, PR, social media and marketing.
Alex has contributed to publications including BetaKit, Grand Magazine, Community Edition and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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