Every year the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada organize a 9 days festivals known as Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest which is famous as the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. Based on the original German Oktoberfest, it is billed as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival. It is held every October, starting on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving and running until the Saturday after and attracts an estimated 750,000-1,000,000 visitors every year.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade is the most widely known Canadian Thanksgiving Day parade and is broadcast throughout the country on CTV.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade is also live streamed online.
A common phrase at the celebrations is Gemütlichkeit, German for congeniality, or warm friendliness. This word is even programmed into the bus route displays, so during Oktoberfest it will show the route and Gemütlichkeit, or Willkommen.
The festival’s mascot is Onkel Hans, a rotund man in Bavarian dress with a thick moustache, lederhosen, and a traditional felt hat with tassel. His graphical image shows him holding a beer stein in one hand, and a sausage (in a roll) in the other. A lesser-known icon is his counterpart Tante Frieda, a similarly stout woman wearing a dirndl.
Another icon of the festival is Miss Oktoberfest. This position was formerly selected in a televised beauty pageant, the applicant coming from across North America.
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