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The Oktoberfest is about much more than just beer drinking. There are lots of traditional German amusements to enjoy like flea circuses and crossbow competitions. Tuesday is Family Day, with discounts for the fairground. Look out for the marching bands and traditional riflemen in the grand Costume & Riflemen's Parade on the first Sunday of the festival.
The Oktoberfest has grown in size and popularity since it began in 1810. It began as a public wedding celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Despite the name the Munich Oktoberfest usually starts in September, Today the Munich festival traditionally takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October with Oktoberfest 2010 starting on Saturday, 18th September.
The opening ceremonies for the Munich Oktoberfest 2010 will commence in the Schottenhamel Tent at midday on Saturday 18th September, when the Mayor will conduct the Official Tapping of the Keg. It is advisable to get an early start for the ceremony as it's usually very well attended.
The entry in the tents of Oktoberfest is free but seating is reserved so if you haven't booked you will have to stand while you imbibe. There are more than 30 tents at the Oktoberfest but the best tents tend to be the Small and Medium ones. Get there in the morning otherwise you will have to queue in line to get in the tents.
Try to find a tent to suit your style. The backpacker hordes and Japanese tour groups make a beeline for the Hofbräu tent which can be quite raucous. If you want to sample something a little more refined check out the Augustiner, Ochsenbraterei (ox-roasting) or Fischer-Vroni tents.