Festival celebrates a German tradition

Toronto's Oktoberfest opens this weekend

Photo Courtesy of Oktoberfest
Photo Courtesy of Oktoberfest

With fall creeping into the city, the organizers of Oktoberfest remind Torontonians that they can stay warm this weekend by swapping their summer clothes for a pair of lederhosen.

“Oktoberfest is one of the largest festivals in the world, and we want Torontonians to be able to share in the experience,” event producer Justina Klein said.

The festival, which commemorates a Royal wedding in 19th century Bavaria, Germany, will begin at Ontario Place this weekend for its fourth year. Event organizers are expecting over 5,000 people.

“Our mandate is to stay as authentic to the originators as possible … to re-create what you would experience in Munich,” Klein said.

The event will feature an outdoor Bavarian village with traditional music, dancing, midway rides and a selection of European food and beer vendors.

Torontonians can expect to find wood-themed games, a corn maze and traditional picnic style seating.

“[This] allows the festival to become a family experience. Children under 16 are free at Toronto Oktoberfest’s all ages session,” Klein explained.

Toronto resident John Wallace, has attended the festival for the past three years and plans to attend this weekend as well.

“Three years ago, a couple of my German friends asked me to tag along, and I’ve gone back every year since,” Wallace said. “German or not, the atmosphere is so lively and welcoming, it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself.”

Klein said, that’s what’s special about the festival.

“It brings together people from all walks of life to share in good times and cheer,” she said.

Tickets can be purchased at www.TorontoOktoberfest.ca