October 9th will mark the opening of London’s very own Oktoberfest!
Planning to attend the festivites? Here are some things you should know.
Fortunately, Oktoberfest’s teeming crowd of thousands is tempered with an equal amount of beer. But there’s actually more to the 5-day celebration than dirndls and pretzels. The extension of the world-renowned Kitchener-Waterloo Okotberfest will be an unforgettable blend of tradition and good-natured revelry—washed down with a hearty chug.
1. BRINGING OKTOBERFEST TO THE FOREST CITY
In the spirit of Gemuetlichkeit Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest expands for the first time ever into to the Western Fair District! The London Festahlle, Das Bierhaus can’t wait to celebrate this expansion with much-loved traditions of Bavarian music, beer and authentic German cuisine.
2. KITCHENER-WATERLOO OKTOBERFEST HAS BEEN RAGING FOR OVER 45 YEARS
In 1969, the founding fathers of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest saw this Bavarian tradition celebrated at the famous Concordia Club in Kitchener as an excellent opportunity to benefit the entire community by becoming a civic festival that celebrated our local German Canadian heritage. Since then, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has developed its own traditions, becoming the largest Bavarian festival in North America. Thousands of visitors celebrate annually in their Festhallen, and by attending one or more of our 40 family and cultural events.
3. LIQUID GOLD
It’s all about the beer at Oktoberfest, hence our name Das Bierhas meaning “The Beer House”! We’ve picked a handful of wunderbar brews just for you: Rickard’s Lederhosen, Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Heineken, Molson Cider, Rickard’s Radler, Creemore Lager and more! Did we mention there will also be a secret signature shot!
4. GET READY TO SING YOUR HEART OUT.
Expect to hear plenty of familiar tunes inside the Das Bierhaus. The Blue Waves will provide entertainment throughout the day and into the night, the playlist? A surprising mix of classic German Oompah band songs and American hits. “Ein Prosit,” meaning “A Toast,” is the number one Oktoberfest standard that encourages interactive drinking and toasts, but your ears will perk right up when you hear the melodies of “Sweet Home Alabama,” “YMCA,” “Sweet Caroline” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
5. RACING BACK TO OUR ROOTS
Once upon a time, long long ago in a far away land known as Bavaria, a Crown Prince, who later became King Ludgwig I, married the beautiful princess Therese Von Sachesen-Hildenburghausen. The loyal soldiers in the Prince’s National Guard thought that the horse races would be a most fitting way to celebrate the happy event. King Max, proud father of the Prince, gave his consent to the races and so they became the finale of five days of wedding festivities on October 17, 1810. This was the likely beginning of Oktoberfest.
The horse races became an annual event and were combined with the state agricultural fair the following year. It wasn’t until 1818 that booths, serving food and drink, were set up at the event. In the late 1800’s, the booths had grown into large beer halls or tents, which are still set up each year on the Theresienwiese named in honour of Ludwig’s bride.
On October 9th, we will be returning to these roots with the Oktoberfest Classic, a harness race featuring Ontario’s best aged-pacing horses!
6. THERE’S MORE TO OKTOBERFEST THAN BEER. BELLY UP FOR SOME SERIOUSLY HEARTY EATS.
The best way to buck up your stomach after so much beer? Tuck into weiner schnitzel, schnitzel on a bun, bratwurst, brat on a bun and pretzels! You’ll also be tempted by massive piles of sauerkraut, potato salad and apple strudel.
7. BEER, PRETZELS & WEINER DOG RACES?
More wieners’ the better, right! Over 20 dachshunds will be put to their paces on opening day of London’s Oktoberfest!
8. DID YOU GET A HANSIE?
Grab a #HANSIE (Hans + Selfie) with Onkel Hans or Tante Freida for a chance to win! Post your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tag @KW_Oktoberfest and @MorellKelly + use the hashtag #HANSIE for a chance to win the grand prize!
9. ROCK THE FESTHALLE
If Oompah music and the Chicken Dance don’t do it for you, Colin James + Kim Mitchell! On October 15, they will be rocking the festhalle - presented by Free 98.1! Limited tickets are available.
10. THE PARTY DON’T START ‘TIL YOU WALK IN!
Das Bierhaus is the Festhalle to be for this year’s Oktoberfest! We can’t wait to see you and share a keg tap or ten with you - get your tickets today!