Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rule #78: Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest

So Kitchener Waterloo is just wrapping up the 45th annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is touted as the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany." While I admit that I always have a good time at Oktoberfest, I refuse to give credit to the Oktoberfest event. I have a good time because of the people I go with. I also don't want to trash the organizers. I actually worked on a volunteer committee for a bit and the organizers work extremely hard to do the best with what they have to work with. The problem is how the city handles it. As this is supposedly the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" I'd expect more. MUCH more.
Here's how my first KW Oktoberfest experience went. My ex brother in law (who I miss dearly) got me tickets for the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany". So I'm pumped. I can't wait to get downtown where everyone's going to be walking around talking German, drinking beer in the streets, smashing kegs open, dancing and whatever else drunk Germans do when they party. Well you can imagine my disappointment when we pull up to the front door of a tent... Over a parking lot... Nowhere near downtown! And we drink shitty draught beer at a picnic table all night. I'm looking around thinking "This is the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany?" Whatever dude. Like I said, I had a good time that year and every year I've gone since. Because the people I party with can have a good time anywhere. Even if you put them in a cage in the middle of the street. Which is pretty much KW Oktoberfest.
This year I decided to pass on the tent deal and go to the official tapping of the keg at city hall. Well I guess it was my fault for expecting anything different. After endless boring speeches from our politicians, we shuffle down to... you guessed it... A TENT! What a surprise. Now if you wanted to get out of the tent and party on the street, no problem. Just as long as you don't leave the 20x20 steel cage attached to the tent. Preposterous! Even worse was one of my favourite bars trying to cash in by offering an "Oktoberfest" menu full of food items that sound like the noise you make when you sneeze. Let's face it, German ain't exactly the most romantic language out there. 
If you claim to host the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany", you should do it right. Or send it somewhere that can. Like George st in Newfoundland or Bourban st in New Orleans. They party in the street all the time and Kitchener can't do it once a year to celebrate "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany"? Maybe it's in the name. Perhaps we should change the name of Kitchener to New Kitchener. Just a thought.

In the new world, If you... oh, and I hate schnitzel... If you claim to have "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" you had better do it right, or lose the right to a community that isn't afraid to party in the street.

George st. Newfoundland


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