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Oktoberfest in Las Vegas kicks off with a beer keg tapping by Siegfried & Roy

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.

Austrian folk band Kärnzeit will perform Bavarian favorites nightly from Oct. 4 to 31. You can reserve seats for a particular time too.

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.

Other Oktoberfest entertainment, games and beer can be enjoyed Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at the Park, the district that stretches from Las Vegas Boulevard to the T-Mobile Arena.

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.

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