Beer flows and crowds descend on Munich for the official start of Oktoberfest

Politics

With the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” — “It’s tapped” — Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg at noon on Saturday, officially opening the 18-day festivities.

People run to enter the 188th ‘Oktoberfest’ beer festival in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) AP

MUNICH (AP) — The beer is flowing and millions of people descending on the Bavarian capital to celebrate the official opening of Oktoberfest.

With the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” — “It’s tapped” — Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg at noon on Saturday, officially opening the 18-day festivities.

Revelers decked out in traditional lederhosen and dirndl dresses trooped to Munich’s festival grounds Saturday morning, filling the dozens of traditional tents in anticipation of getting their first 1-liter (2-pint) mug of beer.

Minutes before the first keg was tapped, to cheers from the crowd, Bavarian Gov. Markus Soeder asked festivalgoers if they were ready for Oktoberfest to begin.

“I can only say one thing: This is the most beautiful, biggest, most important festival in the world,” he said.

The Oktoberfest has typically drawn about 6 million visitors every year. The event was skipped in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with COVID-19, but returned in 2022.

A 1-liter mug costs between 12.60 euros and 14.90 euros ($13.45 to $15.90) this year, an increase of around 6% from last year.

This year’s Oktoberfest, the 188th edition, runs through Oct. 3.


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