Beer flows as overcrowded Oktoberfest opens in Munich

The first keg has been tapped and the beer is flowing as the 186th Oktoberfest gets underway in the southern German city of Munich.

Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg on Saturday with two blows of a hammer and the cry of “O’zapt is” — “it’s tapped.” As tradition demands, he handed the first mug to Bavarian governor Markus Soeder.

Even before the official opening by the mayor, the festival grounds were so overcrowded that security guards allowed entry only for people with reservations in one of the beer tents.

Around 6 million visitors from around the world are expected at the festival in Munich before the Oktoberfest ends on Oct. 6. As in previous years, backpacks and large bags are banned for security reasons.

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