Greetings beer enthusiasts and festival-goers! It’s that time of year again when Bavaria’s capital, Munich, becomes a hub of excitement and celebration. The iconic event, Oktoberfest, has officially opened its doors, attracting millions of eager visitors from all corners of the globe. The delightful tradition commenced with Mayor Dieter Reiter exclaiming the familiar words, “O’zapft is” or “It’s tapped,” as he inserted the tap into the first keg at noon on Saturday.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, an enthusiastic sea of people, adorned in traditional lederhosen and dirndl dresses, flooded the festival grounds, eagerly anticipating that first invigorating sip of the beloved brew. The atmosphere overflowed with anticipation as they filled the numerous, inviting tents, ready to indulge in the festivities that lay ahead.
Just moments before the inaugural keg was tapped, Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder asked the fervent festival-goers if they were prepared for the commencement of Oktoberfest. With resounding cheers and enthusiastic applause, the crowd affirmed their readiness. Governor Soeder took a moment to express his admiration for the event, declaring, “I can only say one thing: This is the most beautiful, biggest, most important festival in the world.”
Traditionally welcoming around 6 million visitors each year, Oktoberfest experienced an unfortunate hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the much-anticipated celebration made an exuberant comeback this year. As beer enthusiasts mingled, they may have noticed a slight increase in prices, with a 1-liter mug of beer costing between 12.60 euros and 14.90 euros ($13.45 to $15.90), reflecting a modest 6% rise from the previous year.
Now embarking on its 188th edition, this year’s Oktoberfest will continue to delight attendees until October 3rd. As the revelry begins, let us remember to uphold the values of civility and kindness towards our fellow festival-goers. Cherish the joyous moments, savor the exquisite brews, and immerse yourselves in the festive atmosphere that makes Oktoberfest the grand event that it is.
So raise your mugs high, partake in heartfelt toasts, and create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. Prost!