Celebrating 10 years of Oktoberfest
2007-09-17 13:49:58 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
Celebrating 10 years of Oktoberfest

The time of the year has come once more to dust off the lederhosen and polish the stein glasses - Oktoberfest is upon us again starting Wednesday.

This year marks the 10th consecutive beer festival the Renaissance Yangtze Shanghai Hotel has hosted on it premises. Each year come September, the Hongqiao property attracts thousands of revelers to its outdoor tent erected for fun, food and, not to forget, beer.

"10 years on, it's also a celebration of where Shanghai has come in 10 years," said the 544-room hotel's General Manager Rauf Malik. "This year we have to erect a bigger tent and add an extra day for a private event. In all we will be catering to about 1,000 people each day over 11 days."

Despite its name, Germans now usually start celebrating Oktoberfest in the middle of September to take advantage of the good weather. It typically ends on the first Sunday of October.

It is estimated that 6.8 million liters of beer are slugged during the Munich event each year.

The Renaissance hosts the only official Oktoberfest endorsed by the Shanghai Tourism Festival, and party-goers will be able to enjoy the world-renowned Weihenstephan beer from the world's oldest brewery in Bavaria.

The all-you-can eat buffet will offer customary Oktoberfest delicacies such as German salads, roast pork knuckle, sauerkraut, and the ubiquitous bratwurst, among others. Local tastes will also be catered for with Chinese delights such as stir fried vegetables, fried rice and fried noodles.

"We keep the traditional items such as the food and the beer but also cater to the local majority that attends the festival," said the Egyptian-Canadian Malik. "These are little things we are doing to acknowledge that this is truly an international event.

"Oktoberfest has become a part of life for both expats and locals - the fun-loving community in general. People appreciate an event like this where they can meet old friends, have fun and enjoy good beer and food.

"Our location really suits the festival with its emphasis on community values, while some expats working in different parts of China or even overseas schedule their trips to coincide with the party."

Punters can expect fun-filled, beer-laden evenings once the festival kicks off. Daily performances from "The Muenchner Musikanten" will rock the crowd with their amusing repertoire of German folk and international pop tunes, while local radio station Classic Music Channel will be broadcasting live from the tent.

Lucky participants also stand the chance to walk off with very attractive prizes.

Tickets are 238 yuan (US$32) on Sunday through Thursday and 268 yuan on Friday and Saturday.

A 10 percent discount applies to weekday bookings of 30 tickets or more. The festival ends on September 29.

Yangtze Shanghai Hotel
Address: 2099 Yan'an Xilu
Tel: 021-6275-0000 ext 2366
(Shanghai Daily)
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