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Oktoberfest starts 200th jubilee with historic party

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Oktoberfest starts 200th jubilee with historic party
Photo: DPA
14:00 CEST+02:00
One day before the official start of Munich’s 200th anniversary Oktoberfest celebrations, a special historical area tapped its kegs on Friday, treating guests to a nostalgic taste of the famous Bavarian beer bash.

The historic section in the southern part of the festival grounds known as the Wiesn features antique fairground rides and tents that tell the story of Germany’s most famous Volksfest. It will also offer visitors the chance to quench their thirst with a special brew offered only this year.

Oktoberfest was conceived in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The party included a military horse race on the festival grounds, which were named Theresienwiese in the princess’ honour.

Munich mayor Christian Ude will kick off Friday’s festivities with an old-style horse race at noon to honour the Oktoberfest's equestrian tradition, which now features two horse races each day.

The historic section of the festival, which also includes a velodrome for racing, an animal tent and a museum full of boozy ephemera, will remain open throughout the event, which runs from September 18 until October 4.

Additionally, Munich breweries have set aside their competitive differences to create a special anniversary beer, a high-alcohol content brown ale called Jubiläumswiesnbier, or “Wiesn Jubilee Beer,” which will only be served from its wooden barrels at the vintage tents.

Entrance to the area costs €4.

DAPD/DPA/ka

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