October Festivals: Oktoberfest is back!


It’s not just about beer. Bavarian delights are everywhere during Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest, including at the fun Edelweiss Tavern. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Story by Vacay.ca Staff

With October comes snow (if it hasn’t started already in some places). But there are also a few worthy festivals that will keep you entertained throughout the month.

One of them is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, taking place from October 5-13. The largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, Germany, this event is a must for anyone who enjoys good food and music washed down with lots and lots of beer. The Chocolate Festival in Toronto begins on the 13th and should satisfy even the sweetest tooth. As if that isn’t enough, the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is your chance to try out some unforgettable culinary treats in Alberta.

And staying on the subject of food (and Halloween for that matter), the Waterford Pumpkin Festival kicks off on the 12th. An event for the true pumpkin fan, with carvings, pies, fireworks and fire trucks.

Here is Vacay.ca’s list of the top festivals happening across the country this month:


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
Dates: 5-13
Oktoberfest. Beer. Music. Fun. North America’s largest Bavarian festival. What more is there to say? Lots more, actually. Read about it in Vacay.ca’s preview of the 2012 Oktoberfest.

One World Film Festival
Dates: 12-14
Founded in 1972, One World Arts is a volunteer-based, charitable organization working to create awareness on world issues.

Bala Cranberry Festival
Dates: 12-14
Each year, the festival donates funds to local charities, community organizations, scholarships, and special events taking place throughout the year.

International Festival of Authors
Dates: 18-28
The testival and weekly series together have held readings, round table discussions, interviews and performances involving over 8,000 authors from more than 100 countries.

Toronto International Flamenco Festival
Date: 20
The Toronto International Flamenco Festival is a Not-for-Profit organization dedicated to increasing the popularity of Flamenco in North America by creating an inclusive environment for both artists and spectators.

Ottawa International Writers Festival, Fall Edition 
Dates: 25-30
Canada’s largest independent literary celebration. This festival reached an audience of 22,893 during the 2011 season.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Waterford Pumpkin Festival
Dates: 12-14
Marketplace, car show, sit-down meals at various churches and halls, amusement rides and more.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Chocolate Festival
Dates: October 13 – November 4
Chocolate till you drop. Toronto Chocolate Festival is back for its seventh year.


EDITORS’ PICK!!! Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival
Dates: 12-13
This festival offers a chance to sample a wide variety of wine, scotch, import beer and premium spirits…along with some great food too!


Newfoundland Festival of New Dance
St. John’s
Dates: 11-14
Since its inception in 1990, the Festival has grown into one of the premier festivals of contemporary dance in the country, and the largest east of Quebec.

St. John’s International Women’s Festival 
St. John’s
Dates: 16-20
The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF) is one of the longest running women’s film festivals in the world. The event features an International Film Forum of keynote addresses, seminars, workshops and face-to-face meetings for filmmakers and producers.

Christmas at the Glacier, Festival of Craft & Art
Mount Pearl
Dates: 24-28
This year the show returns to the original location, now the Sheraton Hotel. The event traditionally follows Christmas at the Glacier and features over 60 exhibitors in a luxurious Hotel setting.

Nova Scotia

Celtic Colours International Festival
Dates: 5-13
For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture as the Celtic Colours International Festival presents dozens of concerts all over the island, an extensive line-up of community events, and a nightly Festival Club.

EDITORS’ PICK!!! Halifax Pop Explosion Music Art and Culture Festival
Dates: 16-20
HPX is the Halifax Pop Explosion, an international music festival and conference that presents 150 bands in 20 venues over 5-days to over 20,000 fans and industry delegates from around the world.

Antigonish International Film Festival 
Dates: 19-20
This year we have 32 films in our lineup, addressing local issues such as the marginalization of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic communi-ties inSinging against the Silence, directed by Michael Newton; to issues of international scope such as investi-gating the misuse of power by a corporate machine in Big Boys Gone Bananas directed by Swedish filmmaker Fred-rik Gertten.

Fall for Flamenco Festival 
Dates: 11-19
The annual Fall for Flamenco festival is a unique cultural, educational and artistic event that enriches our  Atlantic community. We hope you too will fall for flamenco.


Festival of Nouveau Cinema
Dates: 10-21
The Festival du nouveau cinéma remains determined to expand the horizons of Montreal audiences by showing them original ways of presenting the moving image.

L’OFF Festival de jazz de Montréal 
Dates: 4-12
This festival has become a mainstay of Montreal’s cultural life. Get ready for great music and good times.

Rod has previously worked for Canoe.ca and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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