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Oh, beer God! Oktoberfest has opened in Munich

2019-09-21

Beer lovers, rejoice! The world’s most famous beer festival has officially opened its doors in the Bavarian city of Munich.

Saturday morning, Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter used a hammer to insert a tap in the first keg, following Oktoberfest tradition. Then, with two blows of the hammer, he cried out “O’zapt is” (it’s tapped) and handed the first mug to the Bavarian Gov. Markus Soeder.

“Dear guests, welcome to Oktoberfest,” an announcement came through the loudspeakers. “We’re now opening the festival grounds.”

And just like that, at around 9 a.m., the 186th edition of Oktoberfest had got underway.

Tens of thousands of revelers stormed the gates of festival grounds hoping to get a seat in one of the world-famous beer tents, according to German news site Deutsche Welle.

Dressed in traditional Oktoberfest gear — the men in lederhosen, leather breeches that resemble suspenders; the fräuleins in dirndls, colorful circular-cut dresses under an apron that are commonly described as Alpine peasant dresses — some beer lovers had lined up in front of the gate before dawn, as The Associated Press reported.

Around 6 million people from all over the world are expected to attend the festival, which ends on Oct. 6, even as beer prices have gone up since last year. According to the AP, the price of a liter mug went up 30 cents, and it can cost cost up to 11.80 euros ($13) this year.

Organizers apparently don’t expect the price increase to slow anybody down: Some 600 police officers and hundreds of security guards are on duty to keep the order; and around 50 doctors are on call for those who might consume a little more than they should.