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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Turns off the Taps and Closes the Kegs for Another Year


(Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada – October 16, 2011) Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest officially ended another year with Closing Ceremonies at the Chicopee Haus last night. Festival organizers and guests looked on as the ceremonial keg was sealed to await the 2012 Festival, opening in a year’s time. As the clean-up continues downtown this morning, Festival President, Vic Degutis, counts off the many successes of the 2011 year.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the last year,” said Degutis, who ends his first of two years as President with this festival. “This year we brought the Spirit of Gemuetlichkeit to Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort for the first time since the 70s, we invited Onkel Hans’ nephews, from Frieda’s side, Ziggy unt Zaggy to join in the fun, and they brought with them the Oktoberfest Lager, a German beer recipe from the old country and brewed by Creemore Springs.”

With great weather to welcome the festival’s return, the Kitchener Opening Ceremonies were well attended and kicked off nine-days of festing with the ceremonial keg tapping by Degutis and Miss Oktoberfest 2011 Brittany Graul.

The core events and activities of the festival drew crowds to the festhallen, to downtown Kitchener and to venues and events all across the region, spreading the Spirit of Gemuetlichkeit to over 700,000 festival participants.

The Festival started early with the new Stein & Dine event, a night of exquisite food paired with Molson beer, then continued on with Oktoberfest Rocks the Tent featuring great performances by April Wine, Sass Jordon, Major Hoople’s Boarding House and The Black Forest Band. The second annual Tour de Hans welcomed over 250 cycling enthusiasts to a 100km race and 50 km ride around the Region. In Cambridge, Mayor Doug Craig hosted the second annual Cambridge Council’s Oktoberfest Luncheon. After the keg was tapped, events like the Downtown Oktoberfest Experience, Oktoberfest Idol and the 3rd Annual Onkel Hans 5k Fun Run continued to attract new groups of festival goers to the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest experience!

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.

Rocktoberfest10 was a festhalle-shaking event again this year, with Big Sugar and Walter Ostanek taking the stage on October 9th at Altes Muenchen Haus. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade attracted large crowds, and welcomed Brian McFarlane as Parade Grand Marshal for 2011; as well as, the Trilby String Band from Pennsylvania, 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 19,360 lbs of non-perishable food items and $15,755 in cash for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

While it remains to be seen how the festival will fare financially for this year, if satisfied customers were the measure for success, then this will be a booming year. Festhallen were reporting increases in ticket sales before the festival had even begun!

“Between the ideal autumn weather, the great crowds, and the serious fun everyone was having, we couldn’t have asked for more,” says Degutis. “I’m so proud of what our volunteers have accomplished this year, and I’m already excited for next year, seriously! Rumors have started for what’s to come in 2012, and the Festival organizers and volunteers will be starting the extensive planning in the coming weeks.”

The 2012 Festival will run from October 5 – 13.


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