Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is committed to supporting the cultural, economic and social vitality of Waterloo Region. Through Oktoberfest Cares, our festival focuses on celebrating our traditions, enriching our community and supporting those who support others.

Supporting Those Who Help Others

Onkel Hans Food Drive Collection

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Did you know that 1/3 of people served at the Food Bank of Waterloo Region are under 18 years old? And 1 in 20 households in Waterloo Region rely on food assistance.

The Onkel Hans Food Drive is by far one of the most important aspects of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. In 2020, the initiative raised more than 50,000 meals for over 34,000 people in our community.

For many, the ability to put food on the table has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has adjusted its operations to ensure no one experiences food insecurity during this uncertain time.

Because there is not an in-person Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021, the festival is continuing to support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region in a few different ways, including a donation of portions of the proceeds from Oktoberfest Local Box, 2021 Pin Sales and the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Live event.

Onkel Hans Food Drive is proudly supported by
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Enriching our Community

More Oktoberfest Cares

Our Volunteers

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a community-owned festival, supported by the hard work and dedication of over 425 year-round volunteers. Some of our Oktoberfest family have been a part of the organization since its inception in 1969. We welcome anyone who shares our love for this community and wants to participate in a hands-on volunteer experience.

Economic Impact

According to a third-party economic impact study done in 2018, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest generates over $10 million annually in economic benefit to Waterloo Region. This included:



Over $12.3 million in tourism spending



Over $5 million spent by local residents at concessions and restaurants during the festival



Over $3.8 million in tax revenue generated


full-year jobs

Equivalent of 119 full-year jobs supported by the festival

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest puts a high priority on our role as an economic driver for Waterloo Region and for the tourism economy in Southwestern Ontario. While the pandemic has greatly debilitated our festival and the entire tourism industry, we continue to prioritize our impact on local businesses as our reason to keep moving forward, and to find new ways to engage with those in our community, and visitors.

Local Talent

As part of our continued support of the local economy, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest puts great focus on engaging local artists, musicians, and talent when we seek out partners to help create our festival experience. We prioritize hiring local musicians, working with local event producers and videographers, and using local tech talent to deliver our experiences. If you have a local business and would like to know more about how you can work with the festival please contact Laurie Davison.

Becoming A Kwo Volunteer
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Artists and Entertainers

Want to know more about our participating artists and entertainers?

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