Oktoberfest in Canada

Updated on Mar 07, 2024 | Canada eTA

Come Autumn and Oktoberfest celebrations will be cropping up all over Canada with biggethe st of them all taking place in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

The Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volksfest or folks festival (beer festival and travelling funfair). While Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration almost 200 years ago to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese, its come to be known as a beer festival in modern culture that lasts for 16 to 18 days from the period between mid or late September lasting until the first weekend of October.

The world's largest Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany but Oktoberfest is also quite popular around the world and Canada hosts the world's second largest Oktoberfest in Kitchener-Waterloo. Locals as well as visitors on Canadian holidays and trips come out in their droves to celebrate the Bavarian festival.

Canada eTA is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Canada for a period of time less than 6 months and enjoy Oktoberfest festivals in Canada. International visitors must have a Canadian eTA or Canada Visitor Visa to be able to visit Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. Eligible foreign citizens can apply for an Canada eTA in a matter of minutes.

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the world's second-largest Oktoberfest and the largest of its kind in North America. Many of the Canadians of German ethnicity reside in or near these twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Canada's most famous Bavarian festival was founded in 1969 and since then Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has evolved into a much larger festival.

Kitchener is about an hour outside of Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the largest in North America. The number one Bavarian festival in Canada kicks off on 7 October and the event attracts roughly 700,000 visitors to Waterloo Region, Ontario every year. Locals put on a Bavarian festival that matches the one in Munich, Germany with traditional Bavarian attire, hot pretzels, and a seemingly never-ending amount of beer. In Germany, the word used to symbolize Oktoberfest is called Gemütlichkeit which means coziness.

Top Oktoberfest Events in Canada: Must-Attend Kitchener-Waterloo Festivities?

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is always serving a plethora of fun and exciting events each year! To make sure that you are not missing out on some of the most special events to attend in the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, we have made a list for you!

  • The Miss Oktoberfest gala and crowning event.
  • Oktoberfest fashion show.
  • Axe-throwing competition.
  • Barrel race.
  • Media Meister
  • The Oktoberfest Golf event.
  • 5K fun run.
  • The tour de Hans.
  • Traditional music and dance events.
  • Oktoberfest bodybuilding and various sports/fitness events.

2024 schedule and dates

In 2024, Oktoberfest 2024 celebrations will start on the 21st of September until the 6th of October 2024 - this is in line with the schedule of September beginning and ending on the first Sunday of October. Events are targeted toward families and include outdoor concerts, restaurants, stalls, vendor markets, stage performances, magic shows, musicals and robotics displays.

More than just beer

Oktoberfest is more than just the scent of sausages sizzling on an open grill and giant pitchers of cold beer. There are a range of family-friendly activities, music and friendly competitions. Some of the popular Oktoberfest events are the Miss Oktoberfest Gala, the Oktoberfest Golf Experience and A Blooming Affair Fashion Show. It is nearly impossible to have a dull moment during Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest.

Food and festhallens

Kitchener Oktoberfest also attracts the the best and most innovative food trucks from around the country. Kitchener-Waterloo is home to 17 German-Canadian clubs or festhallens that you can visit during the festival. These festhallens combine German beer, food and traditional music and dancing.

Music and entertainment

There is live entertainment in the beer tents that's guaranteed to get you in the mood to celebrate. From traditional German music and dancing, to modern pop and rock covers and even DJs, these live music bands know how to bring on the the party atmosphere playing both classic favourites and current hits. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest showcased the best local or regional bands and entertainers that will have you singing along and dancing to the beat on beer benches!

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, traditional dirndl dress for women

Oktoberfest outfits

Even though the German festival takes place in Canada, Oktoberfest just wouldn’t be complete without them wearing traditional German clothing. The Lederhosen and Bundhosen for men and the dirndl dress for women have been passed down generations since the 18th century and today. Drindl options range from the traditional dirndl reaching down to your ankle, to the midi and mini dirndl for ladies who would like to flaunt their figure and turn some heads.


The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest reaches its climax on Thanksgiving Day by hosting Canada’s biggest Thanksgiving Day Parade which is televised and onlookers can enjoy decorative floats, performers and bands. Beloved characters such as Onkel Hans and Tante Frieda can be seen walking the streets of Kitchener and Waterloo.

There’s so much to do and see in one day that you won’t even notice the nine-day festival fly by.

Other notable Oktoberfests in Canada

Toronto Oktoberfest

Toronto hosts a two-day Oktoberfest event in a large tent at Ontario Place close to a Bavarian village. Toronto Oktoberfest attracts thousands of revellers. You can try traditional Bavarian foods such as Weisswurst and Schnitzel, as well as all kinds of pretzels.

Oktoberfest Ottawa

The Oktoberfest in Ottawa is a hugely popular music festival and so a bit different from Oktoberfest events in Canada.

Edmonton Oktoberfest

Edmonton Oktoberfest is another popular event. If you are in Alberta around October, make sure you visit it. It highlights Edmonton’s other local breweries and its top restaurants in addition to authentic Bavarian breweries featuring local craft beer.

Penticton Oktoberfest

Go to Penticton Oktoberfest in British Columbia to enjoy all the best that German beer has to offer. Local breweries compete against each other and produce a new variety of beer every year. Visitors can enjoy traditional German drinking songs and mouth-watering food

The months of September and October mark the onset of autumn in Canada, which would give you the most gorgeous views of the North American country, with the different shades of orange appearing in the dense forests. Learn about Canada in the Fall Season- Tourist Guide to epic Autumn destinations.

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