Oktoberfest in Munich, the largest festival in the world, is famous for its beers and sausages - but there is more to the Bavarian fair than that. Every year, an array of special events take place during Oktoberfest that you don't want to miss; from colorful parades to open-air concerts, these Oktoberfest events give you a great taste of Bavarian culture and tradition.
1. Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries
Watch the landlords of the Oktoberfest beer halls and the Oktoberfest breweries make their festive entry to the Theresienwiese, the annual location of the festival. The parade displays historic horse-drawn carriages, traditionally decorated floats, and all Oktoberfest bands.
When: First Saturday of Oktoberfest: September 21st, 2013; 10:45 a.m.
Where: From Sonnenstraße/ Schwanthalerstraße to Theresienwiese
2. Opening Ceremony of the Oktoberfest
Celebrate the official opening ceremony of Oktoberfest: At noon sharp, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer with the traditional cry "O`zapft is!" ("It is tapped!"), followed by a 12 gun salute. After that, all Oktoberfest beer halls are allowed to tap their beer kegs, and Oktoberfest gets into full swing...
When: First Saturday of Oktoberfest: September 21st, 2013; at noon (Come as early as 9 a.m. if you want to have a good seat.)
Where: In the Oktoberfest tent called "Schottenhamel".
3. Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen's Parade
This Oktoberfest parade is one of the best and most colorful displays of Bavarian history, culture, and tradition; watch regional costume groups, "troops" in historical uniforms, marching bands, riflemen, thoroughbred horses, and even oxen, cows, and goats pass by in a 3-mile long procession.
The parade leads through Munich's city center and boasts more than 7000 performers, showcasing ribboned trees, harvest garlands, and historic craftsmen's tools.
When: First Sunday of Oktoberfest: September 22nd, 2013; 09:45 a.m.
Where: Max II Landmark - Maximilianstraße - Odeonsplatz - Pacellistrasse - Karlsplatz-Stachus - Sonnenstraße - Schwanthalerstraße - Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz - Theresienwiese
4. Open-Air Oktoberfest Concert
Enjoy a big open-air concert with all Oktoberfest bands; more than 400 Bavarian musicians play it up on the steps of the impressive Bavaria statue, one of the biggest bronze statues in the world.
When: Second Sunday of Oktoberfest: September 29, 2013; 11:00 a.m. (If the weather is bad, the concert will take place one week later.)
Where: At the Bavaria statue, located at the border of Theresienwiese.