178th Oktoberfest kicks off this weekend
Munich - The annual celebration of beer, beer and more beer 'taps' off this weekend. Last year, over 7 million liters of beer were served. The trend is expected to continue, tent organizers are expected to continue to break records.
Over 500,000 roasted chickens, close to 70,000 knuckles of pork and 119 oxen are expected to be consumed over the next 3 weeks.
The annual event brings in around 6.4 million visitors to the city, who end up spending over 390 million Euros just at the Oktoberfest. The city expects a financial boost of around 250 million Euro to local businesses, taxis and public transportation. It doesn't hurt that the rates go up with the season. Guests who are coming in for the second weekend should expect to pay three times the normal rates for their hotel - around 300 Euro per night.
Security is always a concern for the city with the amount of people in one place, most of them drunk, and with the threat of violence, measures are in place to keep everyone safe. Over 900 police personnel will be on duty, in addition to 1,100 employees of a private security firm. Access to the roads around the Theresienwiese Fair Grounds will be limited. Automated pillars in the ground, or bollards, were installed around the Oktoberfest area to prevent any unwanted vehicle entering the festival. The cost: four million Euros.
The main issue outside of security is the yearly price increases for a liter, or 'Mass', of beer. This year a super-sized mug of Oktoberfest beer may cost you more than 9 Euros. Last year the most expensive beer was only 8.90 Euros.
So put on your best traditional outfits, bring your money - lots of it - and your good times. Ein Prosit!