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Home to the biggest Bavarian culture festival outside of Germany, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest's 9 days of frivolity draws over 700,000 people into the town. The figures are staggering from the previous years' event when you consider there are 18,870 places to put your rear end in a beer hall, 25,000 pretzels were consumed (who counted one must ask?) and a massive 51,750 sausages were gorged upon, no doubt by the avid bums on seats in the beer halls. Kitchener, in Southern Ontario, was the Town of Berlin from 1854 to 1912 and then the City of Berlin from 1912 to 1916.
Apart from the Oktoberfest madness, you should visit the historic Walper Terrace Hotel, a Kitchener iconic landmark. If you can't afford a bed for the night, then take the time to sit and recline in the elegant cafe. Stonewalls from the late 19th Century can be gawked at when visiting the Waterloo Goal, that is no longer a goal, but is used as a provincial court house. If you are chasing a bit of art then head to the Center in the Square where local art works are featured and you can catch a show or a concert. If it is wintertime, go to the outdoor ice skating rink and try not to sit on your rear end as you swirl around. Once your clothes are soaked through, head to one of the many cute cafes located nearby and warm up with some hot chocolate or a shot of caffeine. If you love your food, go to the Farmers' Markets in King Street where you can find local, organic, free-range or whatever fancy version of produce you may prefer and good German bakeries to add a few calories on. The Queen Victoria Park deserves a stroll around with its winding paths and shady picnic spots, as does the Firefighters' Memorial Park.
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