‘O’zapft is!’ 185th Oktoberfest Opens in Munich

By Christian Stampfer on 22 September 2018
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MUNICH—With the words “O’zapft is” (it’s tapped) and a 12-gun salute, the Lord Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, opened the 185th Oktoberfest at the stroke of noon on Saturday.

A Festzug, or parade, preceded the ceremony from the city center to the Oktoberfest grounds at the Theresienwiese, led by the Münchner Kindl, the symbol of the city, followed by the lord mayor. The procession continued with horse-drawn carriages and floats from the city’s brewers as well as those from restaurateurs and attractions at Oktoberfest. Music is provided by the bands that perform in the various tents at the Wies’n, as it is known.

The world famous event, which celebrates Bavarian beer and culture, will continue until October 7.

The city of Munich expects over six million visitors during Oktoberfest. Meanwhile, tents will service nearly seven million Maß (literally a measure but also a liter) of beer to attendees, many dressed in traditional Bavarian Trachten such as Lederhosen or Dirndls.

The cost of a Maß this year is expected to be between €10.70 and €11.50, a 3.5% increase over last year’s prices. Only beer made within the city limits and conforming to the Reinheitsgebot or Purity Law of 1516 can be served at the Oktoberfest. Only six breweries make Oktoberfest beer – Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbräu, and Staatliches Höfbräu-München. Oktoberfest beer is available outside of the Wies’n and is also exported to other countries.

Oktoberfest has its origins with the celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. To take advantage of better weather, the festival now starts in September and continues into the first week in October.

As always, visitors will enjoy a selection of traditional Bavarian food including Hendl (chicken), Würstl (sausages), Brezn (pretzels), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Knödel (dumpling), and Bavarian specialties including Obatzda (a spiced cheese spread) and Weißwurst (veal sausage).

Oktoberfest takes place at the Theresienwiese, which is easily accessible by the U-Bahn (metro) U-4 or U-5 directly to the Wies’n, via the U-3 or U-6 to Goetheplatz or Poccisstraße, which is a ten-minute walk to the Wies’n, or via any S-Bahn (surface rail) to the Hackerbrücke stop, which is also a ten-minute walk.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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