Preparations for the Oktoberfest 2008, the largest beer festival in the world, are in full swing. On September 20th, the festival would be inaugurated at the Schottenhamel tent in Theresienwiese, Munich, Germany.
Highlight of the opening rituals is tapping the first beer keg and calling out “O’zapft is!” (it’s tapped). Beers from the Big Six breweries would flow in fourteen Beer Tents / Beer Halls; an eclectic array of yummy food would be served; fairground rides would complement the jamboree; and traditional costume and music would be a treat for eyes and ears at the 175th Oktoberfest, which is locally known as “die Wiesn”. The festival draws huge crowd from Europe and across the world so read on the following useful tips to join the festivities in high spirits:
Be Early to Get the Best View of Opening Ceremony
Though the opening ceremony would start at 12 PM on September 20th, many visitors arrive at the venue at 9 AM to grab the best seat. Try to reach early to enjoy the inaugural events.
Time Schedule for Beer Serving
Beer is served between 10 AM and 10:30 PM on weekdays. If you like, you can enjoy beer with a hearty breakfast at 9 AM on weekends. All tents except the “Weinzelt” and the “Käfer Wiesn-Schänke” close at 11:30 PM. These two tents serve alcohol until 12:15 AM.
Book tables in tents of your choice well in advance for extra comfort. It is terribly busy, especially on weekends, so reservation is really a good option.
Children and Family
On Tuesday, a Family Day, food, liquor and rides are available on discount from 12 PM to 6 PM. But children under six are not allowed in the tents after 8 PM even if they are accompanied by adults.
Save Finery for another Day
Generally, celebrations are incomplete without the best and expensive dresses. But avoid classy clothes at the Oktoberfest as beer spilling is common in the tents.
Generous Tips for Good Service
To get good service, be polite with Fraus, the barmaids, and tip them generously.
Since no car parking is available, it is better to travel by public transport which is faster and convenient.
All beer tents with distinct atmosphere feature both non-reserved outdoor and reserved indoor areas. As going to the bar is not a practice, you have to be seated to get served but the Hofbrau tent also has a standing area.
To rub shoulders with celebrities and VIPs, Hippodrom, a hip tent popular among young and singles, and Käfers Wies’n-Schänke are perfect choices. Traditional charm is recreated in the Augustinerzelt, Braurosl and Ochsenbraterei tents. The Armbrustschützen is known for high-quality Paulaner beer. The world-famous Hofbräu Festhalle, a meeting point for the Austrians and American tourists, serves veritable Bavarian fare. Visit Schützen-Festzelt to savor sucking pig cooked in traditional Bavarian style; Weinzelt, a wine tent, to sample an array of wines; and Fischer-Vroni for fish delicacies.
Photo of Munich Oktoberfest by night originally posted by Nico Kaiser