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September 23, 2011
Beer flows as Germany hosts the Oktoberfest
BERLIN (AP) -- The mayor of Munich tapped the first keg to kick off the 178th traditional German folk festival Oktoberfest last Saturday.
More than six million guests from around the world are expected to descend on the beer tents of Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest which runs until Oct. 3.
Last year's visitors consumed some 7.1 million 2-pint (1-liter) mugs of beer. German authorities have increased the security around the fairgrounds this year, although they say no concrete threat exists. (25 images)



A waitress serves ten full large mugs of Spaten beer at the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. The 178th edition of the world's biggest beer festival, which is expected to attract around six million visitors, runs until October 3. Ma Ning / ZUMA24.com


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Visitors enjoy a ride in a carousel on a sunny day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. The world's biggest beer festival runs until October 3. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy the day inside a beer tent at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, Sept.21, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy a ride in a merry go round on a sunny day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy a ride in a merry go round on a sunny day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A gingerbread seller waits for customers on a rainy weather day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Monday, Sept.19, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A waitress smokes a cigarette as she waits for visitors on a rainy weather day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Monday, Sept.19, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors take a break on a rainy weather day at the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, on Monday, Sept.19, 2011. The world's biggest beer festival runs until October 3. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors lift their beer mugs in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young people drink beer during the opening ceremony of the famous beer festival 'Oktoberfest' in Munich, southern Germany, in a photo taken Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A young woman poses with a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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People stretch out to reach a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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People stretch out to reach a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young people lift up their beer steins after the official opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young people lift up their beer steins after the official opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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People stretch out to reach a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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People stretch out to reach a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors stack beer mugs after the opening ceremony of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors attend the first day at the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy the ride on the 'Top Spinn" , a fairground ride at the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young women cheer during the opening ceremony of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. More than six million guests from around the world are expected to descend on the beer tents of Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest during the festival. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Visitors enjoy a ride on a merry-go-round in an amusement park in front of the St. Pauls church at the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Clouds hang over a ferris wheel at the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. The world largest beer festival, to be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2011 will see some million visitors. AP / Matthias Schrader



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Young visitors rest during the opening ceremony of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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A man walks past tents in the 'Wiesn Loft' riding stadium in Munich, southern Germany, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. The tents can be rented as a low cost alternative to expensive hotels during the Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, which runs until Oct. 3, 2011. AP / Matthias Schrader



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