Published on October 5th, 2017 | by Guest Contributor

One of the World’s Largest Oktoberfest Celebrations is Right Here in Ontario.

Okay, so maybe we can’t do Oktoberfest quite like they do in Munich, but if there’s one thing Ontarians love to do, it’s party. Some of us also enjoy a nice pint now and then and trying new foods, so that makes Oktoberfest the perfect event for kicking off the fall season.

While some Oktoberfest celebrations were (ironically) held in September, don’t despair if you’ve missed them. The biggest bash in Southern Ontario takes place in Kitchener-Waterloo, October 6-14.

This Bavarian festival is actually the largest in Canada – and the second largest Oktoberfest party in the world. The twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have large German communities and have been hosting this festival for over 40 years. (Did you know: The city of Kitchener was actually named Berlin originally.)

Of course, Germany still hosts the original and biggest fest of them all. The very first Oktoberfest was held in Munich in 1810 to celebrate the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. In the over 200 years since, the celebration has grown to attract over six million people from around the world every year. At the heart of any Oktoberfest party is, of course, the beer. In Munich, only locally brewed beer can be served at the festival, and over six million litres of it are enjoyed during the 17-day event.

Bavarian sausages, pretzels and beer.

The traditional fare of Oktoberfest is bavarian sausages, pretzels and a beer.

Closer to home, Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest boasts over 40 family and cultural events. The opening ceremonies, which includes the ceremonial keg tapping, takes place at city hall in Kitchener on October 6. There is also a free pancake breakfast the following Saturday morning.

Festival highlights include the Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, a treasure hunt, a car show, concerts and food-related festivities. Also, because the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest spans the Thanksgiving long weekend, it includes Canada’s only major Thanksgiving Day parade on the holiday Monday.

So, for some fine local beers and German sausages, a lively mix of rock and polka music and more lederhosen than you’re likely to see anywhere else this side of the Atlantic, consider a visit to Canada’s biggest Bavarian beer back this October. Or should we say, “Oktober.”

You can get all the details and complete schedule of events to plan your visit at www.oktoberfest.ca.

If beer and sausages aren’t your thing, here are a few other Thanksgiving weekend road trips to consider.

Heading out to any Oktoberfest celebrations this year?  Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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