The story of Oktoberfest in Germany is very long. According to it, a Crown Prince married a beautiful princess, and this happy and beautiful moment was celebrated with horse races on October 17, 1810. The horse races became an annual festivities, that were combined with the agriculture fair. At the end of the 1820s the first food and drink booths appeared, and by the end of the 1800s the booths transformed into large beer tents or halls. They are still annually set up to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince, who later became King Ludwig I, and the princess Therese Von Sachesen-Hildenburghausen, and this festival is known in Germany as Oktoberfest.
In Canada Oktoberfest has the same motive, but it was established much later, only in 1969. And the city of Kitchener was chosen to hold it. Why wasn’t that any bigger city? The thing is that Kitchener was called the City of Berlin between 1854 and 1912, and the majority of the citizens have German origin. Moreover, its architecture is close to the Bavarian one, so there’s no better choice of the place for the festival!
Oktoberfest in Canada lasts for nine days and it spreads to two cities: Kitchener and Waterloo. It always begins on Friday prior to Thanksgiving Day and ends on Saturday after that. During this time everyone is drinking beer and eating Vienna sausages.
Canadian Oktoberfest also features lots of events apart from drinking beer. It kicks off with a keg taping ceremony and Maypole Raising. On the second day of the festival you can join annual Oktoberfest family breakfast and taste pancakes with sausages. Different events of the festival also include 5K Fun Run and over 40 family events and activities.
One of the most outstanding tradition of the festival is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade, that features traditional German dance performances and orchestras. This parade is the largest Canadian parade that is held on Thanksgiving Day, as well as the most colorful, that’s why it’s broadcasted on the national TV.
Canadian Oktoberfest is stated to be one of the the most interesting beer festivals in the world, that’s why it annually attracts about one million of tourists from Canada and other countries.
Photo: Geoff May