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Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade Combines Old Traditions with New Technology


(Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada – October 8, 2011) When the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade gets underway on Monday, October 10, it will once again bring together long-standing traditions with the latest trends. Once again this year the parade will include the pageantry of numerous floats and bands. A panel of judges will select winning floats in a variety of categories.

The 2011 judges will include retired NHL Official Ron Asselstine, Comedian Paul Constable, 570 News host Gary Doyle and National Prime-Time Host of The Weather Network Chris Mei.

Ron Asselstine
Ron started officiating ice hockey in 1969 with the Guelph Hockey Referees Association. He graduated to the Ontario Hockey Association in 1970. He officiated in the Allen Cup, the Memorial Cup (1972), and the American Hockey League; he graduated to pro hockey in the World Hockey Association (1972-79), then the NHL (1979-1997). Ron officiated in over 2,000 regular season games, and 200 play-off games in both leagues; as well as, 5 All-Star games, numerous international games, and seven WHA Avco Cup Finals. Ron officiated in the NHL Stanley Cup play-offs for seventeen consecutive seasons (1979 to 1996).

Ron worked in the OHA, ECHL; recruiting and mentoring young officials from 1997-2001. He retired from hockey in 2001 and is presently doing consulting work for the OHA as an independent investigator; as part of the OHA Abuse Prevention Services Program.

Ron also co-founded the Guelph Wish Fund for Children, with the late Alan Ferris, in 1984. The foundation recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in August 2009; which has raised over 2 and 3/4 million dollars for severely ill, injured, and handicapped children in the Guelph community.

Paul Constable
Paul Constable plays Stanley on Vision TV's She's the Mayor. He has appeared on Little Mosque on the Prairie, Dan for Mayor, The Ron James Show, Connor Undercover, and How to be Indie. He is an Alumni of Second City, where he appeared in a half-dozen productions, and has been nominated for (and even won!) various Canadian Comedy Awards. He can also be seen and heard in dozens of TV and radio commercials, most recently singing "Hello" for IKEA, and being the "cheeky" professor for Rogers.

Gary Doyle
For over 25 years Gary has been on the air at 570 News; where he is currently host of The Gary Doyle Show, heard weekdays from noon – 3 pm. As of this year, Gary is also the play-by-play voice of the Kitchener Rangers on Rogers TV. You can hear a full range of topics covered on the Gary Doyle Show; from sports, to politics to better living. An avid reader, Gary also enjoys talking with some of his favourite authors. The first rule of his show is “local,” if it affects you, you can talk about it.

Chris Mei
Chris is the National Prime Time Host at The Weather Network. You can catch him live Monday through Friday from 2 pm – 7 pm, coast to coast, regardless of rain, sun, fog, or snow.

Chris says of being asked to judge, “as a child I would watch the Annual Oktoberfest Parade on television. When I was old enough, we would go to the parade and stay for the weekend fun. Then, of course, when I was in college and I had friends at the Universities of: Waterloo, Laurier and Guelph, Oktoberfest became a “staple” of our annual events of fun. To be asked to Judge at this year’s Oktoberfest event is an honour and one I take seriously. This annual event is not only a ton of fun but what I believe to be a rite of passage for anyone brought up in this area”.

Chris joined the Weather Network team in 2006 and has quickly risen as a go-to host for not only accurate daily broadcasts, but for special location assignments when dangerous weather strikes and for fun looks at the “lighter side” of weather in Canada. He recently provided live location coverage of the tornado outbreak in Goderich, tornado damage in Vaughan and the heat wave in Toronto. This fall, look for Chris Mei’s fun new series premiere, The Lighter Side of the Weather!

The parade, which is expected to draw more than 150,000 people to King Street in Kitchener and Waterloo, as well as close to two million viewers when it is aired on national television, is an annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest tradition. As in previous years, donations of non-perishable food items will be collected along the route for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region as part of the Onkel Hans Food Drive.

Once again this year the Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature the People’s Choice Float award, in which Spectators can text the code on the sides of each of the floats to cast their vote, as many times as they want! The voter will be entered into a draw for two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies! Winner to be drawn after the parade.


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