Sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, sausage, wiener schnitzel, German beer, polkas and lederhosen will be flying at the upcoming 43rd Oktoberfest in Kitchener. The annual Bavarian festival, which happens Oct. 7-15, 2011 in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, attracts all ages in a Carnivalesque type atmosphere. Head to Willkomen Platz, the central hub of the festival located at Benton St. and Frederick St., for food, live music and an information centre. Make sure to visit one of the 16 festhallen, located at the German clubs and bars in Kitchener-Waterloo, for the quintessential Oktoberfest experience of music hall entertainment, dancing, dining and drinking. [Quick German lesson: “Noch ein bier, bitte” means “One more beer, please.”] The Schwaben Club, Alpine Club, Transylvania Club and Concordia Club are locations of the most sought after festhallen with admission running $20 per person on average. The following are some of the larger events that take place throughout Oktoberfest. Most are individually-ticketed events and can be purchased online.
- Oktoberfest Opening Ceremony with Miss Oktoberfest and festival ambassador Onkel Hans, Oct. 7, 2011, 11:15 a.m., Kitchener Civic Square
- Oktoberfest Idol, Oct. 8, 2011, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King St. W., Adults $5, 3-13 $3, 2 and under free
- Rocktoberfest with Canada’s polka king Walter Ostanek and Big Sugar, Oct. 9, 2011, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., Queensmount Arena, $24.50, 19+ event
- Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade with over 120 floats, bands and costumed entertainers, Oct. 10, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (starts in Waterloo)
- Classic car show, Oct. 15, 2011, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., parking lot off of Goudies Lane, Willkomen Platz, Market Square and King St.