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Oktoberfest Aims To Tap Civic Spirit

Wielding a large wooden hammer, Mayor Christian Ude pounded a tap into a 53-gallon wooden keg on Saturday to open Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest beer bash.

“It’s tapped!” he shouted as tens of thousands of people crowded onto the fair grounds in Bavaria’s capital broke into wild cheers and applause.

Organizers expect the annual festival to draw 6 million visitors before it ends Oct. 1. They also hope to top the record 1.2 million gallons of beer consumed at last year’s Oktoberfest.

Some 700 tents and stands were selling two-pint mugs of beer, sausages and other goodies alongside amusement rides, brass bands and side shows.

This year’s Oktoberfest also boasts a scandal: A song titled “Pipi Papa,” which bemoans the long lines for toilets at the festival, was determined too raucous. Organizers decided it could be played only in one tent.


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