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October 5-13 2018
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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Turns off the Taps and Closes the Kegs, Marking another Successful Year

 

(Waterloo Region, ON - October 15, 2017) - 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 hat. Last night, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest officially ended its 49th year with Closing Ceremonies at Chicopee Haus. Festival organizers and guests looked on as the ceremonial keg was sealed in anticipation of its revival for the 2018 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, Margo Jones, recaps the successes in 2017. "Turnout at the 13 Festhallen and over 40 family and cultural events has been strong again this year," says Jones, who ends her first year of a two year term as President with the festival. "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 outstanding attendance at many of our key events”.

Festival “Change” was once again the operative word this year with so many things that had to be re-examined, re-balanced from a resources perspective and then finely executed to what turned out to be a wonderful celebration of Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival Experience.

We launched a new parade route with all its inherent unique staging challenges satisfying the thousands of on-street viewers as well as the nearly two million people audience that watched it on CTV. We hosted authors and TV personalities - David Chilton and Greta Podleski as our Thanksgiving Day Parade Grand Marshals. We relocated our Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, A Blooming Affair Fashion Show and Women of the Year events to the new LOT 42 Global Flex campus in Kitchener. We created a new opening ceremonies production including a downtown core concert series for the opening weekend and continued with a majority of our core KWO events.

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 a sold out Oktoberfest Golf Experience at Deer Ridge Golf Club. The crowning of Miss Oktoberfest, Mikaila Emrich in front of a sell-out crowd at the 2017 Miss Oktoberfest Gala was one of the highlights of this year's festival.

Other highlights this year included: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tapping the Ceremonial Keg to kick off the 49th annual Festival, close to 500 runners in the Oktoberfest 5K Fun Run chasing the chicken down the Thanksgiving Day Parade Route and over 40 outstanding women nominated for their achievements at the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year event.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade attracted large crowds, and welcomed author and TV celeb David Chilton and Celebrity Chef and author Greta Podleski as Parade Grand Marshals for 2017. Our community stepped up again in a big way to help support the Onkel Hans Food Drive, which raised 8,777 lbs of non-perishable food items and $8,552 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.

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 2018 Festival will mark the 50th anniversary of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and will run from October 5 – 13, 2018..


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 40 not-for-profit organizations. The festival is operated by nine year-round full-time staff, over 500 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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For additional information:

Alfred Lowrick
Interim Executive Director
K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
Office: 519-570-4267 ext. 222

 

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