Queensmount offers an authentic Oktoberfest experience
For the past few years, including this year, Walter Ostanek, nicknamed “The Polka King”, played his famous polka tunes at Queensmount Oktoberfest. According to their website, the Walter Ostanek Band has played in 33 consecutive Kitchener Oktoberfests. This seasoned group knows how to please the crowd.
The Queensmount Oktoberfest event is popular, and on Oct. 15 the $25 tickets were sold out. Oktoberfest is usually an early event, but because it was sold out we needed to get to Queensmount before 8:30 in order to get into the venue. When looking for an authentic Oktoberfest experience, one expects to find lederhosen and dirndls, traditional German food, lots of polka music and perhaps most importantly, beer. Queensmount delivers on all accounts.
There was a large space in front of the band where people danced to Ostanek’s chants of “Who wants beer?” and “Zigga-Zagga-Zigga-Zagga Hoi! Hoi! Hoi!”. The band also made sure to play the Oktoberfest favourite, the Chicken Dance, about every half hour. Each time, excited Oktoberfest attendees would rush to the floor to get their chance to flap and link arms with friends and strangers alike.
The crowd was younger at Queensmount than it is at many other Oktoberfest venues. The majority of people looked to be in their early 20s, although there were people of all ages at this event. Many were dressed in traditional or inspired-by-traditional clothing, which, along with the polka music, gave the event a more authentic feeling. Everyone was thrilled with the Walter Ostanek Band, and many lined up during Ostanek’s breaks for autographs and photos.
It took a few minutes to wait in line for beer and liquor tickets because the arena was full. The tickets were approximately $7.50, which was more expensive than some other Oktoberfest venues. Wine and Heineken were also available from another booth.
One of the most important aspects of a great Oktoberfest venue is the availability of traditional German food and Queensmount provided plenty. Oktoberfest sausages and schnitzel were available for $5.50 and $6.50 respectively. There was also a large delicious-looking platter that would serve a few friends for $15.
Oktoberfest at Queensmount is certainly lively and fun; however it is a sloppy affair. By the end of the night the dance floor was slippery with spilled beer, causing a hazard for many of the unsteady chicken dancers. I saw one person slip and fall, her head coming dangerously close to the cement floor. Despite this, Queensmount is a great venue for those that want a light-hearted, beer and dance filled, authentic Oktoberfest experience.