Guess what? Munich isn’t the only place to be if you want to celebrate the harvest and toss back a few pints. There are celebrations all around the world and if you find yourself lucky enough to be out and about, be sure to check them out!
This may come as a shock to many, but the moderately sized twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario are home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany, attracting approximately 1 million people a year. Originally named Berlin until World War I anti-German sentiment changed the name to Kitchener, the area is still home to large German population, including many of the Mennonite and Amish faith.
The events held during the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest are what you’d expect, keg tapping, pancake breakfasts and parties all through the night, but it also includes music concerts for rock and hip-hop genres over the nine-day festival. It even boasts Canada’s only televised Thanksgiving Day parade, which is shown across Canada and even to parts of the U.S.A. The festivities kick off on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving, which is the second Monday in October.
Home to a surprising number of German immigrants, Blumenau, Brazil is the site of South America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration and the third largest in the world. Due to the success of Blumenau, many other celebrations have popped up in recent years, including some in other neighbouring countries where German influence is strong. Taking place in the middle of October and consistently attracting more than 500 000 people, Blumenau is a fantastic destination for a great party if you find yourself in Brazil this time of the year.
Not to be outdone by the Canadians, the United States of America has a tone of Oktoberfest celebrations from coast to coast to celebrate the heritage of one of their largest demographics. Chances are good that if you’re in a city somewhere in America, you will find something going on but some of the more major ones are worth noting, such as in Cincinnati (the country’s largest) and the one in the small town of Frankenmuth, Michigan which has the distinction of being the first officially sanctioned Oktoberfest held outside of Munich. All the traditional elements are there from oodles of schnitzel to buxom lasses in dirndl serving steins of frosty ale. It’s a good thing.
A relatively new event that has tried to start a new tradition is the Oktoberfest in Bangalore, India. Big surprise that it caught on – people don’t really need to be convinced they should drink beer and have a good time! Sponsored by a beer company and home to many music celebrations over the course of the three day event, India’s Oktoberfest is a great way to party if you’re in the area and want to have some fun.