Willkommen to London’s very own Oktoberfest! Since 1969, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has developed its own traditions, becoming the largest Bavarian festival in North America. Through the celebration of this Spirit of Gemuetlichkeit, over 70 charities and not-for-profit organizations raise funds to support the well-known event in Kitchener-Waterloo. Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, originating in Europe and Kitchener-Waterloo’s celebration is one of Canada’s most internationally renowned events. The expansion to London’s year-round entertainment destination, Western Fair District, is a first for the KW organizers.
Lynn Buchelt traveled from Oakville, Ontario in order to experience this fun and entertaining event this past weekend.
“I really enjoyed myself, I believe that this cultural event has a lot to offer to people because it educates us on the differences between our country and the European country. I have to say my favourite part was eating and trying the food as well as the dancing.”
From October 12th to 13th, people from all around London, as well as other cities, had gathered at the Carousel Room at the Western Fair District. What’s a good cultural experience without some dancing? The German Canadian Club of Aylmer is a Saxon German organization which provides a place for its members to meet and share in their heritage. It was founded in 1971 in Aylmer by the Saxon community who were looking for a place to gather with their friends to remember their homeland, speak a common language and celebrate their new lives in Canada by dancing to the polka.
Pete Johnson has been a dancer for 7 years and took an interest in Saxonia Hall dancing. He explains why he decided to take up this form of dancing.
“At first, I didn’t think I would be able to pull it off. It’s a different style than what I’m used to. I have done ballroom dancing throughout my years as a dancer so mastering the polka took me awhile. I got into it because I liked the cultural background of the dance and I wanted to learn more. It’s neat that I now know a whole new form of dance and I am thankful that I was able to be apart of something that celebrates a country’s culture.”
The food and beverages served at Oktoberfest would make anyone drool. To spread the German culture even more, Bavarian food was served at the event to give people a taste of the European country. From Bratwurst to Beer to Schnitzel on a bun, people got to experience the different flavours of Germany.
To find out more about this amazing affair, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com/oktoberfest.