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October 5-13 2018
News

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Turns Off the Taps

 

The festival that has benefitted the local economy to the tune of $22.2 Million annually, has wrapped up with another feather in its Bavarian fun hat. Last night Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest officially ended its 45th year with Closing Ceremonies at one of the newer festhallen locations, Chicopee Haus. Festival organizers and guests looked on as the ceremonial keg was sealed in anticipation of its revival for the 2014 Festival season.

As volunteers and festival organizers now work to take down the symbolic elements of the festival throughout the region, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest President, Harry Vogt, recaps the successes in 2013. "Turnout at the 19 festhallen and 40 family and cultural events has been strong again this year," says Vogt, who ends his first term as President with the festival this year. "I am so proud of the community and the collaborative spirit of this festival. From all indications, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a great success, with record attendance at many of our key events. This year we also had two new iniativies that created quite a buzz and both were very successful – Learn to Cook Like Oma at the Kitchener Market and Oktoberfeast presented by Blackberry at Waterloo Public Square."

The Festival started early with the premier culinary event of the season, Stein & Dine, a night of exquisite food paired with Molson-Coors beer, then continued on with over 550 riders in the challenging Tour de Hans cycling race. The crowning of Miss Oktoberfest Tara Hebblethwaite in front of a sell-out crowd at the 2013 Miss Oktoberfest Gala was one of the highlights of this year's festival.

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is continually adapting to new technology to better serve our customers and our organization; including: e-ticketing, texting, social media, and media screens throughout the Festival and at the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Retail Store and office.
Rocktoberfest12 was a festhalle-shaking event again this year, with Monster Truck and Walter Ostanek taking the stage on October 13th at Altes Muenchen Haus. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade attracted large crowds, and welcomed Canadian fitness icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod as Parade Grand Marshals for 2013; as well as the Prime Time Brass Band from Rochester New York, who were a big hit with viewers. Our community stepped up again in a big way to help support the Onkel Hans Food Drive, which raised 15,600 lbs of non-perishable food items and $14,563 in cash for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

While the financial numbers are still being tallied for this year's festival, the satisfaction and excitement that has spread throughout the area and beyond are good measures for success. Early indicators of Festhallen ticket sales were brisk, also demonstrating the community uptake for the festival attractions.

Vogt also landed an exceptionally talented and truly engaging speaker for the President's Invitational Luncheon – CEO and Artistic Director of the hugely successful Drayton Entertainment, Alex Mustakas. He addressed a full crowd of business executives and participants of the 'Passport to Success' business attraction program, and spoke about his fond memories of the festival experience having grown up in the area and attended post-secondary school here. An innovative businessman, Mustakas paralleled Drayton Entertainment and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, noting the social, cultural and economic benefits make them both solid investments and critical to their communities’ ongoing success.

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest helps local charities raise over $1.5 Million during the nine day festival. The festival brand is the third most recognized festival in the country and continues to gain international recognition with its plethora of offerings.

The 2014 Festival will run from October 10 - 18.


About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a not-for-profit Bavarian festival founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada twin cities with German heritage. Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival celebrates German heritage, food, music and festivities and is supported by more than 50 not-for-profit organizations. The festival is operated by eight year-round full-time staff, over 480 volunteers and 1,300 community and service club volunteers that stage the nine-day festival each October promoting a unique German cultural experience. As well as the economic boost the festival gives the local economy during the international festival, over $1.5 million is raised each year by the not-for-profit organizations associated with Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada.

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