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Are you ready to raise your glass at this year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest?

Kitchener-Waterloo tops the list of one of the most popular Oktoberfest’s outside of Germany. Since 1969, Kitchener-Waterloo has become home to the largest Bavarian festival in North America! It is also the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world.

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Oktoberfest started in Germany in 1810 and originally began as a wedding celebration for Prince Ludgwig I and his bride, Theresa. Since then, this annual event has spread worldwide!

This year, the festival will be held at Bingemans and will be taking place from October 10th to 18th. It’s estimated that 750,000-1,000,000 visitors from around the globe attend this yearly event.

If you’re attending Oktoberfest this year, here are 5 things you MUST do, in order to make the most of your experience:

  1. Make sure you ‘dress for the fest’!
    Locals typically show up at Oktoberfest sporting the traditional Bavarian costume. Here are some ideas for what you can wear:
    For the boys: Lederhosen (leather work shorts that are often embroidered), a bavarian-style alpine hat and knee socks (traditionally made with wool).
    For the girls: A traditional Bavarian trachten shirt (commonly white or a plain checked pattern in blue, red or green) and a blouse or bodice. Alternatively you can wear a Dirndl (a traditional Bavarian dress with an apron).    oktoberfest_600
  2. Explore the Waterloo Region.
    While you’re here for the festival, don’t miss the amazing restaurants, shops and Farmers’ Markets that are within the Kitchener-Waterloo region. There are plenty of attractions and things to do with your family or friends.
  3. Participate in one Oktoberfest’s sporting events.
    Every year, there are always a wide variety of sporting events that visitors can take part in. For 2014, visitors can join the 5K Fun Run, the Oktoberfest Golf Experience,or the Tour de Hans 100K or 50K Cycle Race.
  4. Attend the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade
    The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place every year. The Parade starts at 8:30 am on Thanksgiving Day, at the corner of King and Erb Street in Waterloo and it will finish at King and Madison Streets in Kitchener. Visitors can enjoy floats, performers, bands and much more.
  5. Treat yourself to some traditional festive snacks
    The food is just as popular as the beer-based celebrations at Oktoberfest! Treat yourself to some popular festival favourites such as bratwurst, potato dumplings, duck, sauerkraut and a variety of breads and desserts.

And lastly, for the full cultural experience, here are some fun facts related to Oktoberfest:

Did you know?…

– The typical glass that your beer is served in is called the Maß (a one liter stein)

– German beer is much stronger and darker than American beer. 

– To “toast” or “cheers” with a drink in your hand, the German translation is “prost!”

If you’re looking for more information about this year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest; for maps, festival safety, contests and more, visit the official website by clicking, here.

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