Oi! Oi! Oi!: Oktoberfest taps the first keg of 2021

Waterloo Region’s big Bavarian festival officially kicked off on Friday.

Oktoberfest 2021 began with the opening ceremony at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

Tapping the first keg marked the start of the 17-day festival.

A full schedule of events can be found here.

The event this year will be a little different from the traditional Oktoberfest.

Instead of large tents or gatherings, smaller Oktoberfest events will be held at various locations across Waterloo Region. Local restaurants will act as Micro-Festhallen, and this year organizers have launched a new atttraction – the WunderWagen. It’s a mobile Bavarian-themed concert, travelling to differenet locations across Waterloo Region.

"It's travelling around and a number of bands and local talent will be performing on the travelling stage," said Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest president Tim Beckett.

There will also be a virtual event on Oct. 9 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

One of the most aniticpated events of the festival is the Oktoberfest Thansgiving Day Parade.

Like last year the parade has been transformed into a one-hour TV special you can watch on CTV News Kitchener on Oct. 11 at noon. It will feature parade favourites – from floats to bands to special guests, and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it wunderbar!

The festival is also continuing its Onkel Hans Food Drive, but since there is no in-person parade this year, they’re asking the community to contribute directly to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Oktoberfest wraps up on Oct. 11.