The annual Oktoberfest has kicked off in Bavaria with more than the usual pomp, ceremony and oompah. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the event, which began in 1810. To commemorate the occasion, the festival's been extended for two days, and historical reconstructions of old-fashioned beer tents have been set up to wow the tourists.
The breweries of the region have also combined to make this year's celebration special. Instead of each brewing their own beer, and competing for sales at the festival, they've joined forces to brew a special ale from an original recipe dating back to the early years of Oktoberfest.
The record for visitors to Oktoberfest stands at 7.1 million, and that for beer served at 6.9 million liters. Organizers hope to break both this year. (That's not to mention the thousands and thousands of tons of various kinds of wurst, poultry, breads, confectionery and other edibles that'll be consumed by festival-goers.)
Damn, I'd like to be there . . . Not this year, I'm afraid, but Oktoberfest is on my list of things to do before I die.