Oktoberfest fun lasts one more weekend
If you still want to visit this year's edition of what is touted as the world’s largest folk festival and beer bash, this weekend is your last chance.
The beer will be flowing and the music playing one last time this weekend at the Oktoberfest in Munich.
Inside its famous tents — some hold more than 8,000 people — brass bands oompah their way through Bavarian drinking songs. Friends and strangers, locals and foreigners toast each other with the one-liter beer mugs. They sing along and dance on the benches as servers, with fists full of beer mugs and trays full of food, jockey their way through the crowd.
Expect the tents to be full. Organizers expect especially heavy crowds Friday night, Oct. 6, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately, when the tents are full, big, beefy bouncers keep guests from entering.
When this happens, you can usually find a seat in the beer gardens that surround the big tents. Some have music piped outside, but you might not be able to hear it with all the rowdy revelers standing on the benches singing their own songs.
Oktoberfest is not only about beer, though. There is a huge assortment of amusement rides. Some are as mundane as bumper cars and a Ferris wheel, but there are also roller coasters and other thrill rides like the Star Flyer and a swing carousel that lifts riders more than 100 feet above the fest.
The Theresienwiese, the festival grounds, is within walking distance from Munich’s main train station, where trains from all over Europe arrive.
Tents open at 9 a.m. this weekend, and beer is served until 10:30 p.m. A one-liter mug of beer costs between 9.40 and 9.85 euros this year.
All the fun ends at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, when the call goes though the tents: “Aus is!”
If you can’t make it this weekend, mark your calendar for next year’s Oktoberfest, Sept. 20 to Oct. 5.