Thanksgiving Day Parade Volunteer Opportunities
Your Thanksgiving weekend just got a whole lot more exciting! The annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place on Monday, October 9th! Volunteering with the parade allows you to be a part of over a 50-year Thanksgiving Day tradition! We encourage you to sign up to volunteer on your own or with a couple of friends. Everyone will need to sign up as an individual.
Parade Marshals – Age 15+
A parade marshal is vital to the smooth-running operations of the parade. This is a very physical position and requires the volunteer to be able to walk the entire length of the parade (3-5 km). They are responsible to ensure the floats, within their section, are operating properly and that there are no back-ups occurring that will delay the parade. They ensure the health and safety of participants in the parade by ensuring no one is leaving the floats and ensure spectators do not encroach on the parade route. Marshals also report back to the float maintenance team any concerns regarding the floats.
To be a parade marshal, you need to be 15+ years old. You will need to attend one meeting prior to the parade (Sunday, October 8th) where you will learn of your position in the parade and you will receive training on what is expected of you.
Your commitment for this opportunity will be from 6:30 am to 11:30 am (approximately) on Monday, October 9th. You should be comfortable speaking to different types of people, be aware of your surroundings, willing to work with a radio and provide outstanding customer service to participants and bystanders.
As a parade marshal and if you are a student, you will receive a total of 8 community service hours to participate in this volunteer opportunity.
Sign Carriers – Age 13+
A parade sign carrier is important in announcing the floats and groups participating in the parade. This is a physical position and requires the volunteer to be able to walk the entire length of the parade (3-5 km).
To be a parade sign carrier, you will need to be 13 years and older. You will receive your position and training the morning of the parade. It is vital you arrive on time the morning of the parade!
You should be comfortable speaking to different types of people, be aware of your surroundings and provide outstanding customer service to participants and bystanders.
More information will be available once you have signed up as a volunteer.
If this sounds like a volunteer opportunity for you, please sign up to be a Parade Sign Carrier.
Characters and Sandwich Board Carriers – Age 13+
A parade character walks alongside the floats and interacts with people watching the parade. This is a physical position and requires the volunteer to be able to walk the entire length of the parade (3-5 km).
This is a great opportunity for people with a flare for the dramatics. You will be provided a costume and you will receive an explanation as to what your character does during the parade. Generally, you should be comfortable interacting with different types of people, able to get the crowd cheering and generally encouraging people to have fun.
Costumes and make-up will be provided the morning of the parade.
More information will be available once you have signed up to volunteer
Inflatables Volunteers – Age 16+
An inflatables volunteer walks alongside one of the floats housing the inflatable ensuring it can safely pass through the parade route. This volunteer will need to be physically able to walk the length of the parade route (3-5 kms) and keep observant to overhead wires and possible obstructions in which the inflatable could be caught up. Volunteers should be 16 years and over to join our Inflatables team for the parade.
If this is an opportunity you would like to help with, please sign up now!
Reporting to the Production Chair, you will assist in setting up racks of costumes for student. You will assist with the participants by helping them choose the right size of costume and assist them in getting into them. You may be helping the parade participants with their clown make-up.
Once the students are in costume, you will assist in organizing the students into pairs and groups and aligning them with marshalling groups. After the parade you will help provide them with a snack, return the costumes to where they belong and assist in the clean up.
Food Drive Volunteers – Age 14+
As a Food Drive volunteer, you are responsible for collecting all the food donated along the parade route and ensuring it is put on the truck. As a Food Drive volunteer, you must be 14 years and older and able to walk the length of the parade route (3-5 kms).
Join us October 5th – 8th as Downtown Kitchener transforms into a bustling Bavarian village like you’ve never seen it before! The Willkommen Platz creates a central point for the Festival, in which visitors may acquire information, German entertainment, and food.
Information Booth Attendant and Wayfinders – Age 16+
This is a great opportunity to sign up with a friend. Both of you will need to sign up! With over 40 shifts available over a 4-day period from October 5th – 8th, Single Event Volunteers will be assisting Willkommen Platz visitors by providing our visitors with the ultimate customer service experience. You will be answering questions and providing direction to guests and vendors.
As Wayfinders, you will be required to stand and walk around the Willkommen Platz for your 3-hour shift. Volunteering in the Information Booth requires you to sit (or stand if able) for a 3-hour shift.
Join us Friday, October 6, Saturday, October 7 & Sunday, October 8, 2023 at THEMUSEUM (10 King Street West) in Downtown Kitchener! Perfect for families with kids aged 3-10 (or a kid at heart!), KIDtoberfest features traditional music and dancing, curriculum-based learning stations, and guided activities created in partnership with various local arts organizations.
As a volunteer at the KIDtoberfest event, there are shifts for everyone – from working the front desk checking in guests/VIPS, running activities, setting up/tearing down the event, preparing loot bags & more! We look forward to meeting you as you join in the fun!