Oktoberfest 2014: 6 million visitors expected at world’s biggest beer festival
Some 6 million people are expected to this year’s Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest beer party that runs from September 20 to October 5 in Munich, Germany.
Munich mayor Dieter Reiter opened the city’s annual Oktoberfest with the traditional call of “Ozapft is” to the delight of thousands who had managed to get a place in the main beer tent on September 20.
According to Oktoberfest website, on weekend the tents often close before 11 AM, because of overfilling. During the week the tents are normally open until afternoon.
The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.
The locals in Munich fondly refer to Oktoberfest as “die Wiesn” because of its location, Theresienwiese, which was named after Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
The main highlight of the Wiesn events and an important must-see is the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade. The parade happens every year on the first Wiesn Sunday.
Other important events are the Parade of Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Official Tapping of the Keg, the Oktoberfest Mass , “Böllerschießen” (handheld canon salute) in front of the Bavaria statue and – this year- an agricultural festival.
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