Germany’s Famous Oktoberfest Opens Up After A 2-Year Hiatus

The beer is flowing for the first time since 2019 at Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest.

With three knocks of the hammer and the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” – “It’s tapped” – Mayor Dieter Reiter tapped the first keg at noon on Saturday, officially opening the festival after a two-year hiatus. What did gave Corona Virus Global pandemic.

Oktoberfest typically draws around 6 million visitors each year to fill the festival grounds in the Bavarian capital. This event did not occur in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with the unexpected development of COVID-19 infections and restrictions.

Those concerns were put aside this year. The city announced in late April that Oktoberfest would go ahead, and Reiter said Saturday that “it was a good decision.”

“I am happy that we can finally celebrate together,” Bavarian Governor Markus Söder said at the opening ceremony. “There are many who say, ‘Can we, can’t we? Is it fair now?’ I just want to say one thing: we have two or three difficult years behind us, nobody knows what this winter will be like, and we need joie de vivre and strength.

Three hours before Reiter tapped the first keg, patrons rushed to secure seats in the giant beer tents as soon as the festival doors opened.

They will require significantly deeper pockets than at the last Oktoberfest, where brewers and visitors are facing inflationary pressures.

According to the fair’s official homepage, a 1-liter (2-pint) mug of beer costs between 12.60 and 13.80 euros (dollars) this year, about 15 percent higher than in 2019.

This year’s Oktoberfest, the event’s 187th edition, will continue until October 3.

Söder told the daily Muenchner Merkur newspaper in comments published earlier on Saturday that the number of coronavirus infections would probably rise after Oktoberfest but “at the same time, thankfully, we are putting unnecessary pressure on hospitals everywhere.” Not measuring up.”

“This speaks to us being in a new phase of the corona,” he said, adding that authorities would try to protect vulnerable people but not stop celebrations.

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