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Oktoberfest 2006 Parade

The opening of the 173rd Oktoberfest in Munich was scheduled for the 16th September 2006. This year I wanted to show you 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.

Oktoberfest 2006 Opening

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)...

Münchner Kindl Oktoberfest 2006 Stefanie Krätz

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, this year the child is played by Stefanie Krätz, daughter of tent owners Sepp und Gabriele Krätz who run the Hippodrom tent.

Christian Ude Oktoberfest 2006

Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, 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.

Patrick Lindner

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")...

Patrick Lindner München

...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. :-)

Oktoberfest Parade Munich

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.

Oktoberfest Löwenbrä Tent

This is the carriage of the Löwenbrä tent, and I think they had a good deal of fun as well.

Oktoberfest Opening Parade 2006

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.

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