Visitors reach out for free beer at the Paulaner Beer Tent at the opening of the 187th edition of the traditional Oktoberfest festival in Munich, Germany on Saturday.Photo by Christian Bruna/EPA-EFE
September 17 (UPI) — Shaking off a two-year hiatus necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany’s Oktoberfest celebrations were officially revived on Saturday when the mayor of Munich tapped the first keg of beer.
Shortly before noon, Mayor Dieter Reiter announced at Munich’s Schottenhamel Festival Hall: “Ozapt! Peaceful Vienna (Oktoberfest)!”
The 187th edition of the traditional Oktoberfest beer and amusement festival runs from Saturday to October 3rd and millions of visitors are expected from around the world.
This year’s celebration will be a day longer than usual due to a holiday on Monday, October 3rd.
At the opening ceremony, Reiter-tapped Spaten beer was poured into a mug given to the Chancellor of Bavaria, Markus Söder, following a long-standing tradition of the festival.
Shortly thereafter, firecrackers went off, letting other tent owners know they were free to start serving beer.
Soeder told German news agency DPA that the return of the Oktoberfest after years of pandemic restrictions was an opportunity for “joy and freedom”, and Leiter made the decision to reopen the festival. He described it as “good”.
Despite chilly temperatures and a steady drizzle, thousands of people (many of them in traditional German lederhosen and diane) arrived when the doors opened at 9 a.m., according to public broadcaster Bayerischer Landfunk. dressed in dollar dresses) rushed toward the beer tent.
The festival will include approximately 40 tents that can accommodate 120,000 festival-goers. Nearly 200 rides and other “amusements” are also available, including the new “Circus Circus” ride and dozens of stalls offering everything from fish rolls and gingerbread hearts to souvenir mugs.