When many Germans immigrated to the Kitchener-Waterloo area, it was natural that they would want to continue this festive tradition. While many clubs held their own private Oktoberfest celebration (the Schwaben Club laying claim to the first of these in 1961), the first public festivities took place at the Concordia Club in 1969.
K-W Oktoberfest today is the second largest Bavarian festival in the world, second only to the original in Munich itself. For 10 days in October, thousands of visitors and residents take part in family and cultural events, and visit many of the 20+ Festhallen set up throughout the Region. One of the highlights of the festival would certainly be the televised Thanksgiving Day Parade — the largest in Canada.
For more information on Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest, check it out at www.oktoberfest.ca.
A long lost booklet, issued for an Oktoberfest celebration hosted by the Schwaben Club at Memorial Auditorium has recently been discovered. It shows that the Schwaben Club had hosted its own Oktoberfest as early as 1962. Our own Club wasn’t big enough to hold the event, so we rented the Aud. Click here to see a scanned pdf of the actual booklet. It contains a lot of interesting information about the Club, region and country as it was in 1961. An educational and fascinating read.