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September 24, 2010
Oktoberfest marks 200 years
MUNICH (AP) -- It's a wedding party that got out of control: Two hundred years ago, Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig celebrated his royal nuptials with a big public bash that was such a hit it became an annual event -- and came to be known worldwide as "The Oktoberfest." His bride, Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghusen, gave her name to the Theresienwiese festival grounds upon which the event welcomes more than 6 million people a year for towering mugs of beer, oompah music and bright traditional costumes. The "Wiesn" -- as Oktoberfest is locally known -- was put on hold for various reasons during its 200-year history, including the two World Wars, the Franco-Prussian war, and cholera epidemics. That makes this year the 177th edition. (27 images)

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A general view shows the Oktoberfest during the opening day of the at Theresienwiese on September 18, 2010 in Munich, Germany. 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest. Getty Images / Miguel Villagran


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Overview of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 18, 2010. The world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest runs until October 4, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Sebastian Widmann



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Visitors crowd at the Theresienwiese fairground of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, September 19, 2010. The world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest runs until October 4, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / AFP



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General view at the Oktoberfest beer festival after opening in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A young women prepares a booth selling gingerbread hearts at the pleasure ground of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 16, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Christof Stache



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Visitors wearing historical dresses drink beer and eat during the second day of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Bavarian mountain riflemen shoot blanks in front of a sculpture depicting a snail during the opening ceremony of the 'Historical Wiesn' on September 17, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Miguel Villagran



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Bavarian mountain riflemen stand during the opening ceremony of the "Historical Wiesn' in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Musicians of a traditional Bavarian brass band take part in the traditional Oktoberfest costume parade through the streets of Munich, southern Germany, September 19, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Christof Stache



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Participants of the traditional Oktoberfest costume parade wave as they parade through the streets of Munich, southern Germany, September 19, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Christof Stache



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Children dressed up in their traditional costumes participate in the traditional costume and riflemen's procession on the occasion of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Participants of the traditional Oktoberfest costume parade walk through the streets of Munich, southern Germany, September 19, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / AFP



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A woman sits between musicians during the second day of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A couple wearing a traditional Bavarian dresses share a laugh during day 2 of the Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 19, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Miguel Villagran



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Men wearing traditional uniforms eat and drink during day 2 of the Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 19, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Miguel Villagran



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Young women laugh with beer steins in their hands after the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A waitress carries a load of one liter beer mugs to thirsty customers at the start of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young women stretch out to get a one-liter mug of beer in the Hofbrauhaus-tent after the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 18, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Thomas Kienzle



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Overview of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 18, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Sebastian Widmann



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The Oktoberfest ferris wheel is pictured during the opening day of the Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 18, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Alexandra Beier



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A chairoplane and a ferris wheel are pictured during the opening day of the Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 18, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Alexandra Beier



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Visitors enjoy a night ride on a merry go round during the second day at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy a ride on a amusement park ride at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors of the Oktoberfest beer festival ride a marry-go-round at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 18, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Sebastian Widmann



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A drinking Lion, the mascot of 'Loewenbrauerei' brewery stands in front of a ferris wheel at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A couple wearing hats with the writing 'Oktoberfest 2010' rest on street during day 2 of the Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 19, 2010 in Munich, Germany. Getty Images / Miguel Villagran



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