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Oktoberfest kicks off

The Local · 17 Sep 2011, 11:03

Published: 17 Sep 2011 11:03 GMT+02:00

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The world-famous fair is a little longer this year, running 17 instead of 16 days and allowing beer-lovers more time to lift their heavy beer steins in the Theresienwiese (Therese Meadow) near Munich's centre.

But they'll be digging a little deeper into their pockets to pay for the suds this year as the price for a mug, or Maß, has risen 3.6 percent since 2010, costing between €8.70 and €9.20. It's the first time it has cost more than €9.

Still, the higher prices won't likely put too much of a dent into what Oktoberfest organisers say is the biggest fair in the world spread out over 34 hectares (84 acres) and featuring beer tents, bands and women sporting plunging neck-lines delivering copious amounts of beer to inebriated revelers.

Just like last year, a special area called the "Oide Wiesn" will look back of two centuries of high-level beer consumption. The retrospective will feature brass bands and many men and women in traditional Dirndls and Lederhosen.

Despite the focus on tradition, Oktoberfest Director Gabriele Weishäupl says the festival continues to evolve and is pulling in a younger and younger crowd.

"That has to do with the music in the beer tents," she said. "We aren't a disco, but the lively music brings the young people in."

According to Munich's tourist office, 6.4 million people attended the party last year, 60 percent of whom were from Munich. Among international guests, Italians, Americans and Britons are most common.

Security has been stepped up again this year and several new security measures have been taken to protect the fair from possible terrorist attack. Several hundred police officers will be on hand to provide security, although authorities say they are aware of no concrete threat.

Story continues below…

The history of the Oktoberfest goes back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig married Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in a sumptuous ceremony. In 2010, the event celebrated its 200th anniversary, although the party has been canceled over 20 times over the years due to war, disease or other emergencies.

DPAD/DDP/The Local/kdj

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:50 September 17, 2011 by Englishted
First time 1984 last time 2000 .

Miss it a good deal ,wishing everybody there a great time wish I could be there too.

Have a beer for me enjoy yourselves.
17:36 September 17, 2011 by c12dat
I want to marry all four of them.
08:52 September 18, 2011 by Johnne
O'zapft is! we welcome all to our great city of Munich! no haters pleeaasse!! :-D

Munich is unique!!
17:25 September 18, 2011 by Englishted

"I want to marry all four of them. "

I want all four of them.

There that is better.


Yes great city ,great party.
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