Celebrating the spirit of Gemütlichkeit since 1969! In Kitchener-Waterloo, Oktoberfest was established as a civic festival honouring Bavarian traditions and local German Canadian heritage. Originating at Kitchener’s Concordia Club the festival has grown to become the largest Bavarian festival in North America.
A Brief History of German Steins
The word stein is a shortened form of Steinzeugkrug, which is German for stoneware jug or tankard. By common usage, however, stein has come to mean any beer container regardless of its material or size that has a hinged lid and a handle. The word “stein” is of German origin, steins are mugs used for drinking beer. They can be made of earthenware, pewter, wood, ceramics, crystal, porcelain, creamware, silver, or glass. They have a handle and a hinged lid; are decorated and sometimes hand-painted. Steins may be traditional, regimental, occupational (depicting one’s occupation), character (figural), or relief (three-dimensional). Steins often have a theme such as Christmas, wildlife, dogs, military, sports, game fish, etc. There may also be several steins in a series, within a theme. Europeans often engraved dates on the lids of steins to commemorate specific occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, weddings, and retirements.
Buy a traditional German Stein for your collection!
It is referred to as “Arbeitsgemeinschaft” – loosely translated as a cooperative or umbrella group – and it is made up of representatives from the Waterloo region’s five major German clubs. These organizations are key to ensuring the Gemütlichkeit is always part of Oktoberfest.
The Kitchener-Waterloo area boasts seven different traditional Bavarian dance groups, all certain to entertain and excit guests, including the always crowd-pleasing, Kindergruppe and Jugendgruppe. Each dance group provides a unique style of dance, tracht and music which showcases the heritage, culture and diversity Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest offers.
Our dance groups have experience entertaining audiences both locally and around the world. The tradition of German dance is deeply ingrained in Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and is certainly something to be experienced during the festival. Dance groups help make your festhalle “the place to be” while providing your guests with a unique and authentic experience they will want to relive year after year.
Get your fest’ on at one of our regions “Micro-Festhallen”!
We acknowledge that the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Inc. Head Office is situated on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee Peoples. We also acknowledge that the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest community festival takes place on this traditional territory. It is the settlers of this traditional territory whose cultural roots we celebrate during Oktoberfest. We also recognize and respect the cultural diversity that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people bring to our community and recognize their past and present contributions to this land.