Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Turns off the Taps and Closes the Kegs, Marking another Successful Year
(Waterloo Region, ON - October 16, 2016) - The festival that has benefited the local economy to the tune of $22.2 Million annually, has wrapped up with another feather in its Bavarian hat. Last night, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest officially ended its 48th year with Closing Ceremonies at Chicopee Haus. Festival organizers and guests looked on as the ceremonial keg was sealed in anticipation of its revival for the 2017 Festival season.
As volunteers and festival organizers now work to take down the symbolic elements of the festival throughout the region, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest President, Alfred Lowrick, recaps the successes in 2016. "Turnout at the 16 Festhallen and over 40 family and cultural events has been strong again this year," says Lowrick, who ends his 2 year term as President with the festival. "I am so proud of the community and the collaborative spirit of this festival. From all indications, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a great success, with outstanding attendance at many of our key events”.
2016 was another year of change for the Festival with the Willkommen Platz moving to downtown Kitchener in the Carl Zehr Square, Oktoberfest Haus moved from a tent at King and Frederick into the Kitchener Market, The Berlin Haus at The Inn of Waterloo opened for the first time and the OktoberFEAST Food Truck Fest moved back to Waterloo Public Square.
The Festival started early, with the premier culinary event of the season, Stein & Dine, a night of exquisite food paired with Molson-Coors Beer; then continued on with close to 400 riders in the challenging Tour de Hans cycling race. The crowning of Miss Oktoberfest, Vanessa Buttinger in front of a sell-out crowd at the 2016 Miss Oktoberfest Gala was one of the highlights of this year's festival.
Other highlights this year included: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tapping the Ceremonial Keg to kick off the 48th annual Festival, a sold out Oktoberfest Golf Experience at Deer Ridge Golf Club, special guests visiting our Region from Blumenau Oktoberfest in Brazil including 2016 Queen Ms. Sophia Scarlett Piske and over 50 outstanding women nominated for their achievements at the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year event.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade attracted large crowds, and welcomed Steph Leclair and Kristen McKenzie Season 4 winners of The Amazing Race Canada as Parade Grand Marshals for 2016. Our community stepped up again in a big way to help support the Onkel Hans Food Drive, which raised 9,943 lbs of non-perishable food items and $11,410 in cash for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
While the financial numbers are still being tallied for this year's festival, the satisfaction and excitement that has spread throughout the area and beyond are good measures for success. Early indicators of Festhallen ticket sales were brisk, also demonstrating the community uptake for the festival attractions.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest helps local charities raise over $1.5 Million during the nine day festival. The festival brand is the third most recognized festival in the country and continues to gain international recognition with its plethora of offerings.
The 2017 Festival will run from October 6 - 14.
About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a not-for-profit Bavarian festival founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada twin cities with German heritage. Canada's Greatest Bavarian Festival celebrates German heritage, food, music and festivities and is supported by more than 50 not-for-profit organizations. The festival is operated by eight year-round full-time staff, over 500 volunteers and 1,300 community and service club volunteers that stage the nine-day festival each October promoting a unique German cultural experience. As well as the economic boost the festival gives the local economy during the international festival, over $1.5 million is raised each year by the not-for-profit organizations associated with Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada.
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For additional information:
K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
Office: 519-570-4267 ext. 222