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October 11-19 2019
Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest 2019
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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Announces the 2019 Parade Grand Marshals & Special Guest


(Waterloo Region, ON – October 10, 2019) – Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is pleased to announce the Parade Grand Marshals along with a special guest for the 2019 Thanksgiving Day Parade!

This year’s Parade Grand Marshals are two-time Olympian ANDREW POJE and Olympic Gold Medalist NATALIE SPOONER.

Poje and Spooner are currently competing on CBC’s hit BATTLE OF THE BLADES, in which athletes from two of Canada’s favourite sports – figure skating and hockey – pair up and perform in a live, high-stakes figure skating competition for the charity of their choice.
Born in Waterloo, Ont., Andrew Poje began figure skating at the age of six. In 2006, Poje teamed up with Kaitlyn Weaver, who would eventually become his long-term partner on the ice. Together, the pair represented Canada, winning three World Ice Dance medals, two gold medals at the Grand Prix Final Championships and also three Canadian Ice Dance titles. The pair have also represented Canada in ice dancing at the Olympics games, placing seventh at Sochi in 2014 and PyeongChang in 2018. Poje is currently near completion of his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Waterloo with hopes of stepping into the business consultation and finance world.
Born in Scarborough, Ont., Natalie Spooner began playing hockey at the age of four. By the time she was a teenager, she was offered a scholarship to play for Ohio State University. She played for their team, The Buckeyes, while also earning her pre-med nutrition degree. In 2012 Spooner played one season with the Toronto Furies after being drafted into the Canadian Women's Hockey League. In 2014, Spooner secured her spot on the Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team, where she earned her first gold medal in Sochi, Russia. Post Olympics, she returned to the Furies where she earned the Clarkson Cup Championship's Most Valuable Player. She became the first woman in hockey history to win both an Olympic Gold Medal and the Clarkson Cup Championship in the same year. Spooner also helped Team Canada bring home a silver medal in 2018 at the PyeongChang Olympics. She is currently playing and training in pursuit of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Spooner has always been an avid volunteer and dedicates her free time to charity events. She believes deeply in the empowerment of women and wants to continue to help young girls and women get into sports.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is also happy to announce that the TORONTO RAPTOR will also join this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a special guest. He has spent 25 seasons as the official mascot of the 2019 NBA World Champion Toronto Raptors. In addition to being named best mascot in sports multiple times, The Toronto Raptor has made appearance in 5 continents and over 20 countries around the world.

“We are proud to be welcoming and highlighting Canadian athletes at this year’s Parade,” says Tim Beckett, Festival President. “It’s a great time for sports in Canada and we are thrilled to have not only two-time Olympian Andrew Poje and Olympic Medalist Natalie Spooner, but to also welcome our special guest the Toronto Raptor representing the 2019 NBA Champions.”

Andrew and Natalie along with the Toronto Raptor will appear in the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade on Monday, October 14th beginning at 8:30am. If you miss it live, you can catch the CTV broadcast starting at 12 noon.

About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener and Waterloo, Canada. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest annually provides $21.8 million of economic benefit to the community, while not-for-profit organizations associated with the festival raise funds each year for their causes. Hosted in the twin cities because of the strong German heritage, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest celebrates German food, music, fashion, and more! The nine-day festival runs every October and is operated by six year-round full-time staff, over 450 volunteers, and 1,300 community and service club volunteers. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada. For more information visit www.oktoberfest.ca.

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For additional information:

Alfred Lowrick
Executive Director – K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
519-570-4267 x222

Katie Owens


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