K-W celebrates Oktoberfest ‘15

Oktoberfest 2015 kicks off with the annual keg tapping. The Bavarian festival runs for a week.

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

After nine days of events, Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest came to a close this past Sunday. This year the festival took place from October 9 to 17.

The Bavarian festival marked 47 years of celebration this year, with close to 50 events being organized. Events ranged from beer exhibitions and farmers’ markets to sporting events and the renowned Thanksgiving Day parade. Every year the festival attracts thousands of people that come from all over the world to be a part of the unique experience.

Among some of the events was the annual Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, which took place on October 2. This year Holly Pearson was crowned Miss Oktoberfest, giving her the opportunity to represent the community for the year to come. There were 19 Festhallens located throughout the Kitchener-Waterloo region for guests to go to. Many of these locations have been a part of the festival for many years. Maxwell’s Concerts and Events was introduced as one of the new venues for this year, hosting a number of concerts at their accustomed “Uber Haus.”

“This was my first time attending Oktoberfest. I attended an event at the Schwaben club. People were dressed in all kinds of traditional German clothing, there was music from a live band, so many games to play and the food was really great,” said fourth year Wilfrid Laurier University student Heather Imrie.

The appeal for Oktoberfest lies within the exciting and inclusive atmosphere all of the volunteers and attendees work so hard to cultivate.

“Everyone was so friendly. It didn’t matter who you were with, you all danced and socialized together,” Imrie added.

Appearances during the week included a few political candidates and Ron MacLean, the former face of Hockey Night in Canada, as this year’s parade marshal.

Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau made stops at various events during the festival while on the final leg of their respective campaign trails.

Harper was found in the crowd of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade had a route change to accommodate for traffic along King Street.

“The 2015 edition of the Parade has once again shown everyone why Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival. Every year the Parade gets better and this year it set a new standard,” said Dave MacNeil, executive director, in a media release.

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