Did You Enjoy Oktoberfest This Year?
There are many things that make the Kitchener-Waterloo area the perfect place to live, but few things compare to the excitement of Oktoberfest. A celebration of a Bavarian tradition that has been around since 1969 here, thousands spend two weeks every October enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of this fantastic event. It’s one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the entire nation, and that means that it’s even a tourism draw for what is already an amazing community. It is estimated that this year’s event drew $22 million into the local economy as well as 70,000 visitors. If you didn’t have a chance to visit this year, make sure you go ahead and add it to your calendar for the upcoming one.
Making the Most of Oktoberfest
Wondering how to make the most of an Oktoberfest that is this big? These tips can help:
- Make A Plan! If you’ve never had a chance to visit Oktoberfest in this area, the single first thing you should do is make a plan. After all, there’s so much to see and do, it can be easy to run out of time. With 16 famous Festhallen and 40 family and cultural events, a solid plan is important. Be sure to pay attention to the show times, as there are some acts you don’t want to miss. Bring your appetite, too, because here you’ll find food that you just can’t find anywhere else at any other time of the year.
- Grab a Map! Oktoberfest is fun, but it’s also huge, so you’ll want to decide where to go and what to see ahead of time. You’ll also want to map things out, including parking arrangements. Fortunately, the festival provides free bus rides throughout the festival. Schedule information is not only available on the website for the event, but also at area hotels if you’ll be driving in. If you enjoy a bit too much of the ale and drinks available at the festival, it’s important to note that there are more than 8,000 designated drivers available to ensure you get back home or to your hotel safely.
- Connect With Those Who Have Been! This Oktoberfest isn’t like others you’ve been too before. It’s an integral part of the community, and as such, you’ll find many people who have been in the past and plan to attend next year. Find them. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets and communities (Think TripAdvisor!), you can interact with other people who have been before and can advise you on where to go and what to do first.
The Sights and Sounds
Still not sure why you should try to attend next year? After spending some time there this year, it’s a bit hard to see why you wouldn’t, but here’s an overview of the can’t miss events.
The Barrel Race – Teams of four can register to participate in this relay-style race, pushing a metal barrel up King Street, working hard to get the fast time. There are great prizes, and there’s even a non-competitive wheelbarrow race for kids under the age of 10.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade – Easily the crowning event of the festival, thousands of people stand along the parade route hoping to catch a glimpse of this amazing event. Packed with floats, bands, and lots of special entries, it begins the route toward uptown on King Street early in the morning. It’s even broadcast nationwide.
The 5K Run – Whether you simply want to show festival-goers your amazing speed or you just need to work off a few of those calories from the food trucks you came across at the festival, this is the race you don’t want to miss. It’s the largest one in the region, and it finishes right on the arena floor. As with many events in the festival, there’s even a kids’ component with a 200m fun run on the track!
Rocktoberfest – In 2014 the headliners were the Trews and Walter Ostanek. No matter which band rocks the stage at Altes Muenchen Haus, you’ll want to grab your tickets early, because they sell out fast.
The full Oktoberfest event schedule can be found here: http://www.oktoberfest.ca/events and the official Facebook page has almost-hourly updates!
A Kitchener-Waterloo Tradition
A unique Oktoberfest is just part of what defines this community. 2014 meant one more great festival for the books, but the simple reality is that this event is a symbol of the other great opportunities right here. Home to a number of industries and great jobs, it’s a modern area with a historic touch that’s perfect for singles and families alike. Waterloo Regions has a lot of access to parks, great schools, and cultural activities. Easy to access by car or rail, it’s an incredible place to settle down.
With a real estate market that’s bursting with great properties, there’s never been a better time to shop for a great place to live right here near the biggest, best Oktoberfest of them all!