Celebrating Community by Giving Thanks
Willkommen! The Thanksgiving Day Parade is an important part of the decades-long tradition of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, which began in 1969 by three passionate members of our community and the support of Bingemans and our local German Clubs.
Onkel Hans: The embodiment of Gemütlichkeit
Onkel Hans is the Official Mascot of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and our Goodwill Ambassador. Making his debut in 1974, Onkel Hans has come to symbolize the spirit of the Festival, with his jolly disposition and a warm smile for everyone he meets
A Title of Honour: The Parade Grand Marshal
The title of Grand Marshal has gone to famous athletes and movie stars, to local heroes and news anchors and Olympic gold medalists!
The Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade has had many iconic floats over the years! Favourites include larger-than-life inflatables of Onkel Hans and Tante Frieda, King Ludwig’s Castle
Over the years, the parade has hosted bands from across the globe. Drums, bugles, bagpipes and brass - talk about music to march to!
The Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day: A History
The parade has become an integral part of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest celebration! Since its inception in 1968, more than one hundred and fifty thousand people come to watch the parade in person, and thousands more watch the broadcast on CTV.