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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Celebrates Dedication of New Maypole


Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest will proudly raise the Canadian flag on a new Maypole, or Maibaum, on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 11:30am, beside festival headquarters at Charles and Benton Streets in Kitchener.

“The Maypole ceremony is a great way to commemorate our 45th anniversary,” says President Harry Vogt. “The Maibaum will be dedicated to our volunteers and community partners who plan and work year-round to present Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival!”

The ribbon-like pattern of the maypole is done in the blue and white of the Bavarian flag. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Maypole has been a symbol of our local festival for more than 25 years. It was originally raised in 1988, with the generous support of the Buttinger family, in memory of Fred Buttinger, a long-time supporter of the festival. Today it continues to showcase the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo crest, as well as the crests and dancing couples in tracht, of the five traditional local German Clubs; The Concordia Club, The Schwaben Club, The Transylvania Club, The Alpine Club and The German Canadian Hunting & Fishing Club in Mannheim.

In December 2012, the Maypole had to be taken down because of an infestation of carpenter ants, which caused the cedar pole to deteriorate much faster than usual.

The Maypole is a long standing tradition in many Germanic countries in Europe. While it has many meanings today, it originally represented the beginning of the harvest season and was used to celebrate May Day or Midsummer. The Maypole was seen as a symbol of the bountiful harvest that was to come.

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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For additional information:
Dave MacNeil
Executive Director,
K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
519-570-4267 ext. 222


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