Oktoberfest warms up first cold blast of autumn

About 4,500 revellers were expected to raise a stien at this year's edition of Toronto Oktoberfest
About 4,500 revellers were expected to raise a stein at this year’s edition of Toronto Oktoberfest. (Ethan Manninen / Toronto Observer)

It’s time to fill the steins – Oktoberfest is back in Toronto.

Toronto’s third annual Oktoberfest was held Friday and Saturday and brought a taste of Bavarian cultures and food to Ontario Place.

German bratwurst, sauerkraut, lederhosen, and the oom pah pah of polka music were an important part of bringing the festivities to life.

A gigantic, multi-coloured tent provided shelter from intermitten rain and cold autumn winds but it wasn’t the only thing working to make the event a success.

For many, preparations began months in advance of the tent opening Friday night.

Graham Caldwell, a representative for the Carlsberg brand, said that load-in began on Thursday at 4:30  p.m., but the hard lifting for the event started months in advance.

Beer, the all important key ingredient, had to be licensed and hauled to the Lake Shore Boulevard venue:.“We brought quite a few beers – around 65 kegs,” Caldwell said.

In previous years, Toronto Oktoberfest was held in the St. Lawrence Market and the Guvernment night club, further east on the waterfront. This is the first year that the event was held under a big top.

Justina Klien, an event organizer, said the event had outgrown previous venues.

“We’re growing it.  We’re making it bigger – like a big German fest-hall!” she said.

Klien said about staff had been recruited to sling steins of beer for an expected crowd of about 4,500.