Hello from your local Bavarian girl! Well perhaps not so Bavarian but I do have a dirndl so I can definitely look the part! I’m here and excited to say that Oktoberfest is coming to Waterloo from October 6 to 14, as it does every year, and it’s time to buy your tickets and let that beer flow! “Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit!…”
You may or may not be aware of this, but Kitchener-Waterloo, once named Berlin, hosts the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the WORLD outside of Munich! There are a lot of cities in the world, but none do beer and music the way we do here in KW… who said people at Waterloo don’t know how to party?
It may seem like a weird tradition, but us Austro-Germans are weird people, and what’s so weird about celebrating the “Spirt of Gemütlichkeit”, a word that doesn’t truly exist in the English language but which means essentially coziness, comfort, relaxation, and contentedness. And what better way to celebrate those feelings than drinking copious amounts of alcohol, well known to bring about feelings of coziness, contentedness, and relaxation. Where did the tradition start, you may be asking, while also googling how to buy yourself a ticket to the festivities? It all originated with the wedding of Prince Ludwig in 1810 to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. They threw a big party in front of the city gates for all of Bavaria to attend, at what has since been named “Theresienwiese” or Theresa’s fields.
The day was ended with horse racing and it was such a hit that the next year everyone showed up for another party. This time in addition to horse racing there was an agricultural fair, and so it grew adding carousels and an expanding amusement park. Beer stands were available to quench the thirst of attendees. Over the years, the beer stalls exploded in number and tents with long benches began to replace the small stalls of the past, backed by brewing companies. So where does Waterloo come into it? In 1969 the founders of KW saw the Oktoberfest celebrations at the Concordia Club as a great benefit to the entire community and has supported it ever since!
Last year, our very own walking selfie PM Trudeau came to tap the keg and kick-off Oktoberfest, but what can you look forward to this year? Well, there’s a big parade taking place on October 9th, you could visit the opening ceremonies on the 6th, and among other things there are 15 “Festhallen” where you can experience the best of Bavarian culture… And Sam Roberts Band will be playing at Bingemans for just $30!
Grüß vom Oktoberfest! I hope to see you all there getting your Gemütlichkeit on!

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