A couple in traditional clothing at the world-famous
beer festival. @ Oktoberfest 2016 dates.
When am I allowed into the Oktoberfest tents? Is there anything special afoot on the days I’m going?
On what days can I see people in funny costumes and cannon shooting?
Patience, young grasshopper, here you’ll find what you seek. It's the temporal guide to the 2016 Oktoberfest.
During the week the beer tents open at 10am and on weekends and public holidays at 9am.
The tents close at 11.30pm, with the last drinks served at 10.30pm. Käfer's Wiesnschänke und das Weinzelt are the exceptions, they stay open until 1am with last drinks called at 12.15am.
Oktoberfest day by day guide
Oktoberfest 2016 dates - Opening parade
The traditional prelude to the fest is the parade of carneys and beer-wenches officially called the Grand entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries (Einzug der Festwirte).
This is when the festival’s workers, tent host families and the lord mayor rock up to kick things off. Date: September 17, Saturday 10.45am to 11.45am
Let there be beer!
Following the parade comes the Anstich, when Munich's lord mayor beats a tap into the first wooden keg of Oktoberfest beer. It's done in the Schottenhamel tent.
When the tap is in position (usually after two or three good whacks) the mayor shouts out "O'zapft is!" (It’s tapped!). There's no beer served anywhere on the Wiesn until this happens. Then there’s a 12-gun salute and the party's on for young and old. Date: 19 September, Saturday
All dressed up...
The Costume und Riflemen's Procession (Trachten- und Schützenumzug) winds its way through the streets of Munich’s Old Town to the Wiesn. Over 7,000 people march in costumes that span Central Europe and go back to the Middle Ages.
Worth a look, but watch out for the big piles of poo-poo the horses leave all over the road. Date: September 18, Sunday
Time: 9.45am to 12.30pm
A gay old time
Munich gay group the Münchner Löwen Club (Munich Lions’ Club) reserves the back of the Bräurosl Festzelt tent for their Gay Sunday event. Date: September 25, Sunday
This is the first of two supposedly more family friendly days at the Wiesn, with reduced prices on rides and food from 12pm to 6pm. Date: September 20, Tuesday
Let us praise this mug of beer
The Oktoberfest service (Oktoberfest- und Gedenksgottesdienst).
The Oktoberfest has hosted a token religious service for its travelling showfolk and workers for the past 50 years. It takes place in the Hippodrom, ironically one of the more sinful tents on the Wiesn. The general public is, of course, welcome. Date: September 22, Thursday
They come, they see, they conquer
DALL'ITALIA: A couple of Italian
lads I met one year at
the Oktoberfest. I drew
them very fundamental map
of Munich's highlights.
This marks the beginning of the unofficial “Italian Weekend”, three days of rampant south-of-the-border shenanigans when the Latin hoards stream north to the city they call “Monaco di Baviera”.
Despite a rowdy/grabby reputation, they’re mostly harmless, friendly and make great drinking buddies.
Viva Italia! Date: September 23, Friday to September 25, Sunday
Musicians do it outside
About 400 musicians blow out their spit-valves and symphonize their strings in preparation for an outdoor concert on the steps of the big, bronze Bavaria Statue. Date: September 25, Sunday
A gay and lesbian gathering takes place in the Fischer-Vroni tent in the name of "Rosa Montag".
Date: September 26, Monday Time: 6pm
Familientag (Family Day)
The second of two supposedly more family friendly days at the Wiesn, with reduced prices on rides and food from 12pm to 6pm. Date: September 27, Tuesday
The last day of Oktoberfest is marked by the Böllerschießen event around the steps of Bavaria Statue at 12pm.
It involves dozens of old lederhosen lads shooting hand cannons and ancient rifles, an address by the lord mayor and more gussied up brass musicians than you can poke a stick at.
In the dying moments of the festival the tents go dark and everyone lights up sparklers, magic! Then the fest winds up for another year at 11.30pm. Aus is! Date: October 3, Monday
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