A pretty sweet antidote to all the insane partying done at Oktoberfest festhalls around the region over the Thanksgiving weekend is the relative tranquility of the Monday morning Oktoberfest parade. It is a family-friendly event, after all (although the woman sitting behind us appeared to be brandishing a flask full of whiskey at 8:30am - yikes!). 150,000 locals and not-so-locals line King Street bright and early every Thanksgiving morning. I've been doing it pretty much every year since I myself was a little kid, and it's so awesome to see the tradition continuing decades later.
Usually, parade mornings are freezing. As a kid I very much remember wearing winter coats and toting seriously heavy blankets all around downtown trying to keep warm while someone's parent did a hot chocolate run. This year's weather was unbelievable. Halfway through the parade I even took off my sweater and sat there in a t-shirt! Unheard of in my day, when we used to walk to school uphill both ways. With no shoes. In blizzards.
It was definitely too warm for a hot chocolate today but another parade tradition was satisfied - the Oktoberfest Pretzel breakfast! Grainharvest Breadhouse in Waterloo is the official supplier of all KW Oktoberfest pretzels. They are also the official supplier of all bread products to the house of Mary & Paul. The bakery specializes in all-natural, fresh-baked daily breads without all the added crap of many of the supermarket options. Most of their products, including their soft pretzels, are confirmed vegan by their staff!
Another great parade put on by festival organizers. Oktoberfest ist wunderbar!
Wishing all my fellow Canadians a very Happy Thanksgiving!