Munich Marks 200th Anniversary of Oktoberfest With Brewer Truce

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The anniversary follows attempts to make the festival more traditional in recent years. In 2005, the Munich city authority ordered the oompah bands to turn the volume down and play more original folk tunes. And Bavarian folk purists have been urging locals to stop buying cheap Chinese-made Lederhosen imports and stick to costumes hand-stitched by Bavarian tailors.

There have been fears that the smoking ban being enforced for the first time at the festival this year could spoil the party by exposing foul smells from fat, spilled beer, toilets and food waste that had previously been covered up by the nicotine.

Brewery managers at three of the 14 tents are resorting to specially-bred composting bacteria developed by local entrepreneur Hubert Hackl who claims they can devour the odious slime that gathers under the tents and thereby prevent the stench from infesting the packed tents.

But the spokesman for the tent managers, Toni Roiderer, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he wasn't worried about any smells.

"The boys and girls coming to our tents will smell so sweet that there won't be a problem. They'll bring deodorants along with them this time instead of cigarettes. The only thing you'll smell will be the delicious fragrance of pork knuckles and fried chicken," he said.

Besides, given the annual consumption of six million liters of beer at the festival, many visitors are likely to be too drunk to worry about a bit of odor.

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