Thanksgiving weekend in Waterloo Region will kick off with the start of Oktoberfest at Kitchener city hall this morning, The annual event — North America’s biggest Bavarian festival — will run to Oct. 13, giving people ample chance to enjoy the music, cultural events, dancing, displays and food. Other Oktoberfest-related events this weekend include:
• Bingemans Oktoberfest, which includes two Festhallen —Kool Haus and Paulaner Haus. A schedule and tickets are available here.
• A free Oktoberfest Family Breakfast, Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30 a.m. at Bingemans. A donation to the local food bank is the only price of admission. There will be coffee, sausages and pancakes — the latter two prepared Conestoga College’s culinary arts students.
• Craftoberfest is also taking place at the Kitchener Market today, featuring local art, German- and harvest-inspired craft beer, and cider, from 6 p.m. to midnight.
• The K-W Oktoberfest Fun Run, in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, starts at 7:55 a.m. to Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, 400 East Ave., Kitchener.
• The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It starts at Weber and Frederick Streets, then winds north to Weber and Bridgeport Road in Waterloo. Onkel Hans will be collecting non-perishable food items along the way.
The Thanksgiving weekend, however, offers more than just events related to the beer festival.
• The Tri-City Super Con, one of the region’s biggest pop culture festivals, starts today at Bingemans. More information here.
• Local owners of Snyder’s Family Farm, John and Meghan Snyder, located just outside of Bright, Ont., have an estate that features over 16 attractions. These include a pumpkin patch, puppet and barnyard shows, a fall decor store, a five-acre corn maze, a trampoline-like jumping pad, and country hayrides. A fire in 2012 destroyed their Haunted Barn, which was filled with props and everything needed to give their visitors the creeps. However, the Snyders kept it together and kept the screams coming, along with the pumpkins growing.
• A family fall festival will take place in Central Park, 615 King. St. E., Cambridge, on Oct. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will feature music by The Hillbrook Connection, a bouncy castle, face painting and carnival games. It’s sponsored by Immanuel City church and it’s free.
• Learn to cook like Oma in a German culture cooking class at the Kitchener Market on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m to noon. Your favourite Oktoberfest mascots will be present to enjoy this free event of food music and dancing.