In Kitchener-Waterloo, Oktoberfest was not established by royal decree, but with a noble motive just the same. In 1969, the founding fathers of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest saw this Bavarian tradition celebrated at the famous Concordia Club in Kitchener as an excellent opportunity to benefit the entire community by becoming a civic festival that celebrated our local German Canadian heritage. On a wing and a prayer or $200 and a vote of confidence. Where today there is a cast of thousands, at its inception on October 14, 1969 at Bingemans there were only a handful of dedicated Oktoberfest organizers, among them Richard Hermansen, Owen Lackenbauer and Darwin Clay. As long time Oktoberfest volunteer Jack Bishop tell us, “Dar was chairman of the committee even before the organization became K-W Oktoberfest Incorporated (which happened in its second year). The first festival ran Tuesday to Saturday. “Dick was in my Lion’s Club, and he asked me to come along and help. I was president from 1972 to 1976 and have never looked back.
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