The world’s biggest beer festival opened in traditional style in this Bavarian capital Saturday as Mayor Gerog Kronawitter tapped open the first wooden barrel of beer at the 1985 Oktoberfest.
He inaugurated the 175th Oktoberfest by presenting the first glass of beer to Bavarian state Premier Franz Josef Strauss, one of many leading West German politicians who attended the start of the 16 days of revelry.
City officials expect over 7 million visitors at the Oktoberfest, making this year’s effort the biggest ever.
More than 1 million gallons of Bavarian beer and at least 660,000 roast chickens will be consumed this year during the jubilee celebrations, being held on the Theresienwiese meadow, the traditional fairground site of the Oktoberfest.
“Beer Police"--stewards with special steel rulers--will patrol the beer tents to make sure patrons are getting full measure after a scandal last year when some unscrupulous publicans served mugs of beer consisting largely of froth.