Munich Oktoberfest finally resumes after pandemic hiatus

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s annual Oktoberfest festival is finally back this fall, after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of Bavaria’s famous beer festival said Thursday.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s annual Oktoberfest festival is finally back this fall, after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of Bavaria’s famous beer festival said Thursday.

“The Wiesn will take place,” Clemens Baumgaertner told reporters in Munich, using locals’ colloquial Bavarian language for Oktoberfest that refers to the large lawn, or Wiese, where the boozy celebrations take place.

He said the popular beer festival in the Bavarian capital will be held without any pandemic restrictions from September 17 to October 3 – Germany’s national day.

“It will be as we have known it since 2019, and not otherwise,” added Baumgaertner.

Oktoberfest, first held in 1810 in honor of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Theresa, has been canceled dozens of times in its more than 200-year history due to wars and pandemics.

In the years leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, around 6 million revelers visited the celebrations each year, many of them dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing – the women in Dirndl dresses, the men in Lederhosen or leather trousers up to the knees.

Some 487 beer breweries, restaurants, fish and meat grills, wine shops and more will be present and opening hours will be even longer than in the past, with the first beer tents opening at 9am and closing at 10.30pm. Last orders will be taken at 9:30 p.m.

A one-litre (two-pint) mug of beer will cost between 12.60 and 13.80 euros ($12.84-14.07) this year, an increase of about 15% from 2019, according to the Official Oktoberfest homepage.

Typical Bavarian dishes sold at Oktoberfest will include specialties such as the “slaughter plate” with blood and liver sausages and pork belly; roast pork with crispy skin, bread dumplings and sauerkraut; slices of roast beef or braised venison stew served with homemade spaetzle.

The Associated Press

Carol N. Valencia