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Oktoberfest 2011

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On Saturday, the 178th Oktoberfest opened in Munich, Germany, with the traditional tapping of the first keg of beer by Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, shouting "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Bavarian festival takes place over 17 days, and some 6 million people are expected to attend. Last year, visitors drank more than 7 million one-liter mugs of beer. Attendance is free, but the beer will cost you: The price of a mug at any of the 14 tents this year comes to €9.20 ($12.60 U.S.). Gathered here are some of the scenes from Oktoberfest 2011's first weekend. [40 photos]

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A waitress carries beer mugs in the Hofbräuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. The world's largest beer festival will see millions of visitors between now and October 3, when it closes. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
A waitress carries beer mugs in the Hofbräuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. The world's largest beer festival will see millions of visitors between now and October 3, when it closes. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
A spectator in traditional Bavarian clothing waves during the 178th Oktoberfest on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Lennart Preiss) #
A man works on a lion sculpture, the logo of the Bavarian Löwenbräu brewery, as preparations are under way for the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, on September 14, 2011. This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will open on September 17 and run until October 3, 2011. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
A customer is fitted with a traditional Bavarian Dirndl dress at a shop selling Dirndls and lederhosen, on September 8, 2011 in Munich, Germany. Dirndls are famously worn by participants and attendees of Oktoberfest. (Alexandra Beier/Getty Images) #
On September 8, 2011, a man stands near the largest pitcher of beer in the world, according to its designers. The seven-meter-tall pitcher, awaiting transport to Oktoberfest in Munich, is illuminated from within and will rotate atop a tower in front of one of the 14 beer tents at the festival. (AP Photo/Norbert Millauer) #
An employee paints decorations on gingerbread hearts to be sold at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, on September 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
"Münchener Kindl" Maria Newrzella toasts with a beer mug while taking part in the Parade of the Landlords and Breweries during the opening of the 178th Oktoberfest in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #
Two visitors wearing hats covered with hops smile during the opening day of the Oktoberfest 2011 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 17, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Alexandra Beier/Getty Images) #
A man waits in a U-Bahn station in Munich waiting to go to the Oktoberfest festival on Saturday morning, September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Joerg Koch) #
The giant Ferris wheel is silhouetted against the Alps during the opening day of the Oktoberfest 2011 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 17, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images) #
Waitresses wave and hold aloft beer mugs during the opening of the Oktoberfest 2011 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 17, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images) #
Young visitors rest during the opening ceremony of Oktoberfest 2011 in Munich, Germany, on September 17. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
Christian Ude, Mayor of the City of Munich, taps the first beer barrel with the traditional cry of "O'zapft is!" on Saturday, September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Joerg Koch) #
An enthusiastic Oktoberfest visitor leaps in the air when entering the Schottenhamel beer tent on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Munich. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann) #
Revelers scuffle for the first free beer in the traditional 1-liter beer mug at the opening of the World's biggest beer fest, Oktoberfest, at the Theresienwiese in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
A reveler in traditional Bavarian dress, beer in hand, on Saturday September 17, 2011 in Munich, after the opening of the Oktoberfest. (AP Photo/Lukas Barth) #
People stretch out to reach a beer mug in the Hofbräuhaus-tent after the opening of Oktoberfest, in a beer tent in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
People reach out for a beer mug in the Hofbräuhaus-tent in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. Only a small amount of the beer appears to have spilled. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
Visitors to the Oktoberfest beer festival celebrate in a beer tent on the Theresienwiese fairgrounds in Munich, Germany, on September 18, 2011. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
A waitress carries beer mugs in the Hofbräuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
Revelers salute with traditional 1-liter beer mugs on the first day of the Munich Oktoberfest, September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Michael Dalder) #
Young women pose while attending the Hacker-Pschorr beer tent during day 2 of the Oktoberfest 2011 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images) #
Visitors ride a Ferris wheel during the first day of the Munich Oktoberfest, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Michael Dalder) #
Opening day of the 178th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #
Visitors enjoy a ride on a merry-go-round in an amusement park in front of St. Paul's church during Oktoberfest, in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
Festival-goers enjoy an amusement park ride after the opening of Oktoberfest, on the Theresienwiese fairgrounds in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
A waitress carries beer mugs after the opening of Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
A girl in a traditional Bavarian Dirndl rests on a meadow near the Theresienwiese fairgrounds of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
People in traditional costumes wave during the Oktoberfest parade in Munich, on September 18, 2011. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #
A reveler salutes during the first day of the Munich Oktoberfest, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Michael Dalder) #
A woman arranges gingerbread hearts in a booth as preparations are under way for the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese fair ground in Munich, Germany, on September 14, 2011. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
Visitors stack beer mugs after the opening ceremony of the 178th Oktoberfest in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
Three young women pose in the Schottenhamel tent after the tapping of the first keg of beer, opening Oktoberfest on September 17, 2011, in Munich. (AP Photo/Joerg Koch) #
Terrier Tiffany dressed in traditional clothes attends Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
A reveler rests in the sun after the first hours of the Munich Oktoberfest, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Visitors to Oktoberfest raise a toast on September 17, 2011, after the opening of the festival. (AP Photo/Lukas Barth) #
Revelers enjoy a ride in a swing-carousel at the Munich Oktoberfest, in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
The Oktoberfest beer festival crowd, at the Theresienwiese fairgrounds in Munich, Germany, on September 17, 2011. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
Festival attendees wearing traditional Bavarian clothes hug on the steps of the St. Peter and Paul church, after leaving Oktoberfest, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Tens of thousands of revelers at the first night of Oktoberfest, at the Theresienwiese in Munich, on September 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #

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