The 1998 Oktoberfest in Munich marks the festival's 165th year (it has been cancelled at times in the past, due to war and cholera). Already underway, it opened on September 19 with a grand parade of the Oktoberfest "landlords" and breweries, and features traditional dancers and costumed performers, the Riflemen's Procession, and a large brass band concert given by the 400 musicians who also perform separately throughout Oktoberfest ...and, most definitely, beer!


  • In 1997, Oktoberfesters consumed more than 5 ½ million liters of beer, about 45,000 liters of wine, and almost 165,000 liters of nonalcoholic beer.

  • The local name for Oktoberfest, "Wies'n," is derived from Theresienwiese, the name of the field on which the festival is held.

  • The festival halls in Munich can seat 94,000 people.

  • The beers that the Munich breweries produce specially for Oktoberfest contain 4.5 percent alcohol.

  • Cincinnati, Ohio, which claims to hold the "largest authentic Oktoberfest" in the U.S., draws about 500,000 people to its celebration.

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