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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Five Preposterously Boozy Facts About Oktoberfest


The 16-day boozathon kicks off this weekend in Munich and is expected to attract more than six million beer-lovers—hundreds of whom could end up as "Bierleichen" (paralytically drunk "beer corpses"). Luckily, there's a special tent for that.

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Oktoberfest kicks off this Saturday, September 20, and is expected to draw more than six million people to Munich, Germany. Bonnets, lederhosen and oompah bands will all be in evidence. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest annual festival, dedicated entirely to beer, and has occurred annually without fail for the past 181 years.

The festivities begin with a parade of brewers, barmaids and other characters of the booze industry, led to the fair grounds by the official “ambassador” (usually a scantily clad woman) on horseback. Once there, attendees will find 14 beer tents, each with its own unique theme and beer selections, and thousands of staff members ready to help them get wasted. Because drinking copious amounts of beer is what Oktoberfest is all about. If you haven’t been, here are five facts about the event that you might not already know:

1. The Red Cross has 15 onsite emergency beer-recovery/hangover beds onsite. Every year between 7,000 and 10,000 people stop by the Red Cross tent for treatment.

2. Bierleichen is the word used to describe the paralytically drunk. Direct translation: “beer-corpses.” In 2012, 800 “beer-corpses” ended up at the Red Cross tent trying to recover.

3. Oliver Struempfl carried 27 beers at one time, setting the record for the most beers carried by a single person. Ever.

4. There are 168 Oktoberfest apps currently available on the app store. These apps will do such important things as alert you to which beer tents are the least crowded and where the cheapest beer can be located.

5. The largest tent is called the Hofbräufestzelt, and is run by the Hofbräu brewary. The tent is said to hold upwards of 9,992 people at a time, and expects to sell 780,000 liters of beer during the 16 days of the festival.