The 44th annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is now officially underway, after the keg taping ceremony drew thousands into downtown Kitchener.

The music, the food, and the spirit of Gemütlichkeit — that warm fuzzy feeling — that comes along with Oktoberfest were enjoyed by many at the keg tapping.

The events even included a pretzel eating contest.

Walter Ostanek performed many of our favourites, from “E I E I E I O” to “Hey Barbarita”.

Ostanek tells 570 News about what makes Oktoberfest special to him, “I get to meet a lot of nice new people, these days I meet a lot of young people, I call them my family, I’m Uncle Walter to many of them,” he said/ To hear his entire interview, it is attached to this story, under the photographs.

President of Oktoberfest Vic Degutis invites us to the many events that span the festival, “(Saturday) morning, come out to the CHYM Breakfast,” which this year, celebrates its 31st year.

Oktoberfest runs until the 13th.