September 22, 2022
Oktoberfest is officially underway after Munich’s mayor tapped the first keg over the weekend.
Mayor Dieter Reiter hammered a keg three times, tapping it to the tune of a celebratory countdown on Saturday to officially welcome the festival back for the first time since before the pandemic. The 187th Oktoberfest will take place through Oct. 3 without any pandemic-era restrictions in place.
This momentous Oktoberfest is being celebrated after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reiter told The Associated Press on Saturday the decision to bring the festivities back “was a good decision.”
“I’m glad that we can finally celebrate together,” Bavarian governor Markus Soeder told the wire service. “There are many who say, ‘Can we, can we not? Is it appropriate now?’ I just want to say one thing: We have two or three difficult years behind us, no one knows exactly what this winter will be like, and we need joie de vivre and strength.”
Oktoberfest was first held in 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese. In addition to the beer, visitors this year will be treated to historical rides at the Oide Wiesn, which was initially intended to be a one-off event in 2010 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest, but proved so popular it became a tradition in itself.
In past years, Oktoberfest has typically drawn about 6 million visitors per year.
In June, Germany dropped all COVID-19-related travel restrictions, eliminating the need to show proof of vaccination, a negative test, or proof of recovery to enter, according to the German Missions in the United States.
Travelers who head to the country can experience so much more than its beer with Germany’s gorgeous forests, picturesque small towns, and cool upside-down railway. As a bonus: Germany is the best place in the world to work remotely from due to its cybersecurity, economic, and social conditions (and the beer doesn’t hurt).
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