These images may not be the best photos in the world and may not win any awards, but they give you a good impression of the Oktoberfest. As the Fest remains more or less the same every year, I consider the photo to be still accurate. Enjoy!
The opening of the 173rd Oktoberfest in Munich was scheduled for the 16th September 2006. Here's the opening parade, where all the tent owners, their friends and family, and the tent staff officially "move in". At the top of the parade is the local police, clearing the way.
Right after the police the first band comes, all dressed in the traditional bavarian clothing. And in the back you can already see the first real attraction - the "Munich Child" (Münchner Kindl)...
Each year, the "Munich Child" (Münchner Kindl) opens the fest, reviving the 800 year old crest of the city. While first drawings of the crest showed a monk in a frock, but about 150 years ago it got changed to show a young girl in the frock. Anyway, in 2006 the child had been played by Stefanie Krätz, daughter of tent owners Sepp und Gabriele Krätz who operated the Hippodrom tent until 2013.
Christian Ude had been the Mayor of Munich for decades. In this 2006 photo he waves to the people on his way to the Oktoberfest. It is the mayors job to open the first barrel of beer exactly at 12:00 hrs noon. While Ude was three seconds early this year, he used just "two plus one safety" hits to the barrel. Then he shouted "O'zapft is" - "the barrel is open" - and the action began.
German musician Patrick Lindner waves to the fans on his way to the Oktoberfest, standing on the horse drawn carriage of the Wine Tent ("Weinzelt")...
...and obviously enjoying the parade with his Paulaner wheat beer ("Weissbier"). Whether the smile comes from the beer or the parade is unknown to the photographer, though. :-)
The streets are lined with people watching the coaches passing by. As you can imagine, it is a big honor and big fun to get a ride on one of the carriages.
This band in the Oktoberfest opening parade was lead by two flag artists, waving the Bavarian flag (left) and a flag with Munich's colors.
Here are the beautiful girls of the Hacker-Pschorr tent where I met Eva in 2005.
And more beautiful girls, this time from the "Augustiner Festhalle", obviously having a very good time on their carriage. And they were very friendly to one of the spectators...
One of the girls of the "Augustiner Tent" handed her beer to a spectator on the street, who was very thristy and apparently could not wait until the fest was officially opened. However, when the carriage started to move again, she demanded the beer back (and he complied with her wish), waving a "Thank You!" back to the girls. :-)
The opening parade for the Oktoberfest is also a fest for the eyes. This is the coach of the Steinberg family: the ladies wear their finest traditional dresses (the "Dirndl"), the gents put on their "Tracht" as well, and everybody is having a really good time (except, maybe, for the kid in the middle who possibly wonders what this is all about).
An unknown beauty on the "Hippodrom" carriage. Whoever she is - the camera loves her! And so I could not resist to play a bit around in Photoshop to put the full focus on her. :-)
The parade does not just go through Munich's High Street but also through the traditional quarters next to the Theresienwiese where the fest takes place. These are the two carriages of "Fischer Vroni", again showing off their beautiful staff.
An Oktoberfest Walk
The traditional pretzel (or "Brez'n" as the locals say) belongs to Oktoberfest just as the beer. This booth sells the small version for 1.50 Euro.
The carriage and the horses of the "Hofbräu" Tent are standing in front of the tent. The horses wear the tents logo in their harness.
The drivers of the "Augustiner" carriage have parked the carriage. Apparently they were also quite thirsty - the beer steins are already half empty.
A visitor is patting one of the horses of the "Paulaner" brewery in front of the "Winzerer Fähndl" tent. He is wearing the traditional male clothing ("Tracht") - leather trousers ("Lederhosen") and a white shirt. As you can see, the horses are also quite pretty with that special harness garnering their foreheads.