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K-W Oktoberfest begins today

The 52nd edition will look much different than in previous years due to COVID-19, including no parade and Micro-FESThallen
Onkel Hans
Tante Frieda and Onkel Hans. KitchenerToday file photo.

It's expected to be an Oktoberfest like we've never seen before.

From COVID-19 restrictions, to the earlier start date, K-W Oktoberfest gets underway with a virtual keg tapping ceremony at noon Friday, live streamed from the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

Regional Chair Karen Redman, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry will all take part.

CLICK HERE for the link to the live stream.

Keep in mind, the ceremony is not open to the public.

"With all the new protocols that were just put into place, we've been very nimble in re-adjusting our plans," said Tim Beckett, President of K-W Oktoberfest.

"Even the local Mayors, the Regional Chair and all that, are going to be off-site (for the keg tapping) so we can abide by all the public health regulations and rules."

However, some aspects of the festival have been put on hold until further notice, such as the Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, A Blooming Affair Fashion Show, the KWO 5K Fun Run and the Rogers Women of the Year Awards.

Erin Wetzel will continue in her role as Oktoberfest Ambassador into 2021.

But the big thing locals will miss out on is the annual Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade, as that will be postponed until 2021.

You will get to see Onkel Hans though, mask and all.

"We have been working very hard with a number of our mask suppliers and manufacturers in the region," Beckett said, "And I believe we have come up with the solution (to get a mask big enough)."

CLICK HERE for more on the big changes, and CLICK HERE for the official KW Oktoberfest website, where you can browse event calendars and book tickets.


Mark Pare

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