Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest wraps up 49th year

The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest had another successful year as they officially ended its 49th year Saturday night as organizers and guests attended the closing ceremonies at Chicopee Haus.

'I am so proud of the community and the collaborative spirit of this festival,' says Oktoberfest president

Onkel Hans waves to the crowd. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest officially ended its 49th year Saturday night as organizers and guests attended the closing ceremonies at Chicopee Haus. 

 "Turnout at the 13 Festhallen and over 40 family and cultural events has been strong again this year," said Oktoberfest President, Margo Jones in a release.

"I am so proud of the community and the collaborative spirit of this festival."

Premier Kathleen Wynne joins Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Region of Waterloo Chair Ken Seiling at the opening ceremonies of Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest 2017. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Several changes 

A few changes came to some of the festivities such as the parade and location for several ceremonies. 

Organizers laid out a new Thanksgiving parade route in September to avoid LRT infrastructure.

This year the parade collected 3,981 kg of non-perishable food items and $8,552 in donations for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Locations for the Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, A Blooming Affair Fashion Show and Women of the Year ceremonies were moved to Kitchener's new event space, Lot 42.

Organizers also created a new opening ceremonies production such as a downtown core concert series for the opening weekend.

Despite changes, Jones said this year's Oktoberfest activities were well attended. 

"From all indications, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a great success, with outstanding attendance at many of our key events," she said.

Other highlights at this year's Oktoberfest included Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tapping the Ceremonial Keg to kick off the 49th annual festival.

Almost 500 runners made it out to the Oktoberfest 5K Fun Run, where they chased a chicken down the Thanksgiving parade route.

And over 40 women were also nominated for their achievements at the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year event.