For the first time since 2019, beer is flowing at Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest.
With three knocks on the hammer and the traditional shout of “O’zapft is” (“it’s been tapped”), Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap into the first barrel at noon on Saturday, ending the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Oktoberfest typically draws around six million visitors each year to the packed festival grounds in the Bavarian capital. The event was not held in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with the unpredictable evolution of COVID-19 infections and restrictions.
That worry has been put aside this year. The city announced he would host Oktoberfest in late April, and Reiter said Saturday it was “a good decision.”
Bavarian Governor Markus Soder said at the opening ceremony: “I’m glad we can finally celebrate together. ‘There are a lot of people saying ‘I can, I can’t.’ Is it right now? I just want to say one thing.” is that there are going to be difficult years in the next few years and no one knows exactly what this winter will be like, and it takes joie de vivre and strength.”
Three hours before Reiter tapped the first keg, revelers flocked to secure seats in the giant beer tent as the festival gates opened.
As brewers and visitors face inflationary pressures, they will need much deeper funding than the last Oktoberfest.
According to the festival’s official website, a liter (two pints) of beer will cost between 12.60 and 13.80 euros (dollars) this year, an increase of around 15% compared to 2019.
This year’s Oktoberfest, now in its 187th year, runs until October 3rd.
Soder told the daily Münchner Merkur, published on Saturday, that the number of coronavirus infections would probably increase following Oktoberfest, but “at the same time, thankfully, we are not overburdening hospitals everywhere.” I didn’t measure it,” he said.
“It tells us that we are in a new phase of Corona,” he said, adding that authorities will try to protect vulnerable people but will not interfere with the festivities.
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