Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade!

When we think about Thanksgiving Day, we often think of time spent with our families and friends. It is a family-focused holiday–designed for parents to go home and spend time with their children and for children to see their parents. But sometimes families get so caught up in their own traditions that they forget how important it is to gather with one another. This is where a large event like Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade comes in handy. It included a look back on previous parades, behind the scenes on one of Canada’s largest parades, and exciting footage of all your parade favourites!

Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest

Come out and support your local festival, the 31st Annual Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade! The parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Weber Street between Columbia and Industrial Roads and will continue to Weber University. The Greater Toronto Civic Travel Association, an agency of the City of Toronto, is bringing together people from across the GTA to fill the streets of Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest during Thanksgiving Day with a family-friendly walk not just for deep autumn colors but also the yuletide spirit.

When did the Oktoberfest Parade begin?

The Oktoberfest Parade began on Thanksgiving Day in 1984. That tradition has been celebrated for over 30 years with hand crafted beer wagons and a giant pipe band that leads the parade of the Oktoberfest celebrations. The Oktoberfest parade in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in all of Canada. This world class party started in 1978. In the mid 1800’s, the royal Bavarian king made a grand parade for his wedding day. German settlers in Waterloo added to this tradition and later called it the Oktoberfest. In 1907, a writer named Ferris rented a horse and buggy for a feast in Kitchener to raise funds for a local girls’ school. It turned out to be such a success that vendors sold chili, sauerkraut, crackers, apples and beer from machine gun-mounted wagons known as “rolling castles”.

Parades in other cities for Thanksgiving Day

Parades allow participants and spectators to take part in the fun and join the party spirit. After living here for a little bit, I realized how beneficial parades could be as a community event. It is very nice seeing everyone come together to celebrate their differences and pursue the meaning behind Thanksgiving Day. Toronto, Toronto’s most famous parade with Caesar getting hit by runners is still not enough for lucky Canadians like me. I spent the day checking out old battle memorials, shopping for tourist goods, and most importantly of all, taking in the whole Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade!


The day began with beautifully lit-up parades on the morning of Thanksgiving. The first parade of the day was led by the Grand Marshall himself, Elvis! The parade lasted all day, and was very successful in who helped make this Thanksgiving Day Parade one of the grandest of them all. It is such a beautiful day and such a fantastic event for the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade. This festival has been going on since 1962 and has been referred to as Canada’s largest outdoor holiday celebration. The parade includes over 300 units, live entertainment, children’s activities, 5 km of strolling lights, 50 km of decorated floats, twinkling lights formed adornments for the gingerbread house competition, free children’s theatre show titled “Believe…s!”Hockley Meadow Farmers’ Market set up at Waterloo Market Square until Saturday morning.


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