Las Vegas kicks off Oktoberfest celebrations Friday when magicians Siegfried & Roy make a rare public appearance to tap the ceremonial first keg of beer for the traditional German fest.
It all begins at Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, which has the vibe of a German beer hall. Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, longtime entertainers who featured white tigers and white lions in their act, will make an appearance starting at 7:30 p.m.
Horn was critically wounded after a tiger bit him during a show in October 2003. The duo’s white tigers, paired with a dolphin habitat, remain a popular tourist attraction at the Mirage.
Other Hofbrauhaus keg tappings by Las Vegas celebrities continue through October, including the cast of Raiding the Rock Vault at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23, the Chippendales at 7: 15 p.m. Sept. 29 and hypnotist Anthony Cools at 7:30 p.m. October 28.
If you have the stamina to hold your beer without drinking it, the Hofbräuhaus’ stein-holding contest might be worth trying. Competitors hold one-liter steins of beer (about 5 pounds when full) straight out from their shoulders for as long as they can. Prizes are awarded to those who can hold their mug the longest.
Beerhaus, the mall’s year-round beer hall, and outdoor beer tents will be serving a variety of special Oktoberfest beers, including those from Munich breweries Hacker-Pschorr and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu.
Traditional food such as bratwurst will be served, as well as brazen, soft pretzels with spicy mustard and pickles; frikadellen, pan-fried hamburgers with boiled new potatoes; and schweineschnitzel, a pork schnitzel sandwich.
Festivities begin daily at 1 p.m. and continue well into the night. Admission is free.
By the way, Oktoberfest in Germany ends earlier on Oct. 3.