Canada's Top Oktoberfest Celebrations
Rolling, rollicking music. The scent of sausages sizzling on an open grill. And giant pitchers of cold beer.
While it’s always sad to see summer disappear in the rearview mirror, Canadians are lucky that we have some of the world’s best Oktoberfest parties. And some of them start well before the calendar flips to October.
Here’s a look at some of the top ways to celebrate one of Germany’s most honoured traditions right here at home. And, no, you don’t need to wear lederhosen or one of those dirndl dresses.
Vancouver: Laid-back Vancouver gets into the spirit of Oktoberfest as much as anyone. The annual Harvest Haus party is a two-weekend extravaganza in which about 1,500 revellers will clink glasses, face off in lip-sync battles and try their hands at competitive axe-throwing. Look for it Oct. 5-7 and again on Oct. 13-14.
Calgary: Hey, they don’t just celebrate rodeos out west. Calgary also hosts a terrific Oktoberfest, with Bavarian music, beer, food and tons of entertainment. Local favourites like Brewsters and Last Best will be on site to dole out 8-ounce samples and, for the first time this year, full pints. It all takes place at Stampede Park, quite close to downtown, on Sept. 22-23.
Edmonton: Look for great food, tall glasses of cold beer and lots of live music at the Oktoberfest in this city, which hosts more festivals than almost any other in Canada. This year’s festival is slated for Sept. 29-30.
Kitchener-Waterloo: They say the Oktoberfest celebration in Kitchener-Waterloo is the largest one in North America. The K-W region (roughly an hour west of Toronto and easily reached from Toronto Pearson International Airport) was settled in part by German immigrants, so you’ll get an authentic experience, complete with those little feathered hats, guys and gals dressed in their finest Bavarian duds and, of course, plenty of golden lagers and ales. This year’s runs Oct. 6-14 at venues across the region. Travelzoo members can pick up tickets for $20 (reg. $35).
Toronto: Folks in Canada’s biggest city who don’t want to make the trip to Kitchener-Waterloo can take part in Toronto’s Oktoberfest, held on the lakefront at Ontario Place on Sept. 29-30. Festival-goers can chow down on schnitzel, Oktoberfest poutine and apple strudel before washing it down with an extra-cold brewski -- the event organizers upgraded the chillers this year for even colder brews. Travelzoo members can grab tickets at half price.
Ottawa: The nation’s capital hosts an Oktoberfest party from Sept. 28-30, featuring Fall Harvest contests, games, fantastic food and marvelous music -- in fact, Ontario’s own Meghan Patrick will be closing out the Friday night festivities. Dance away with a drink in hand, like a Root of Evil lager from Ottawa’s local Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. Get a sneak peek at offerings with a Whiprsnapr brewery tour, 40% off.
Repentigny, Quebec: Folks in La Belle Province like their beer and food as much as anyone else. Check out the Oktoberfest party in Repentigny (just outside Montreal) from Sept. 8-10, with fun rides, shows, 25 food vendors and more than 30 of Quebec’s best microbreweries. Unlike many other beer bashes, this one is kid-friendly, with a "Family Zone" and a Paw Patrol show to amuse little ones.
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia: The largest Oktoberfest in Atlantic Canada first launched in 1980 and is held every year in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. Go for the chance to win the $500 door prize, stay for the sausage and schnitzel. This year’s event runs Sept. 22-23.
Travelzoo will feature a live stream and special commentary from Munich's Oktoberfest on September 17! Look for it on our Facebook page.