Alternative To Canceled Oktoberfest Opens In Munich
Despite Munich's traditional Oktoberfest beer festival being canceled for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic, an alternative event began in the southern German city on Saturday, the festival's original start date, Sabine Bobel and Angelika Warmuth reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Photo Insert: The Oktoberfest alternative is definitely something Germans feel deserves a toast.
Beer barrels were tapped in pubs at the originally planned start of the Wiesn at 12.00 pm (1000 GMT or 4 p.m. on Sept. 18 in Manila). People gathered at the Theresienwiese, where the big beer celebration traditionally takes place, with a takeaway basket of bread rolls and drinks and made a toast.
Unlike last year, there was no alcohol ban at the Theresienwiese. The area is a public green space, said Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgaertner.
Environmentalists celebrated the time without the Oktoberfest, saying it had done the Theresienwiese good. Finally, the area was a real meadow again and not just gravel, they said. City center and festival innkeepers invited guests to join the alternative event, dubbed the Wirtshauswiesn, in a good 50 restaurants.
They plan to decorate their pubs in the style of the tents that are set up for the traditional Oktoberfest, known locally as Wiesn, in an event due to continue until October 3.
In other pubs, there will be Oktoberfest music, beer, and traditional costumes. Normally, the acting mayor of Munich would have opened the world's largest folk festival on Saturday with the tapping ritual. Munich's former mayor Christian Ude tapped a beer barrel at the Schiller Braeu tavern with only two strokes - last year, he needed a few more.
"The Wiesn is a deep feeling of life," said Gregor Lemke, spokesman for Munich's city center innkeepers, at the start of the Wirtshauswiesn.