Oktoberfest Sets Record for Beer and Lost Items

"The special flair of the nostalgic Jubilee Festival on the southern part of the Theresienwiese radiated across the entire festival," said Gabriele Weishäupl, the head of the organizing committee, in a statement. "This year's Oktoberfest was an exceptional one, unique and incomparable."

It was also unique in that it was the first Oktoberfest to impose a strict smoking ban in the 14 giant beer tents in line with a new Bavarian law outlawing smoking in pubs and restaurants. Beer tent managers had worried that the absence of smoke might infest the tents with unpleasant smells from from toilets, spilt beer and stale fat, but there were no reports of any worse than usual stench -- possibly because many visitors were too comatose to notice.

The heightened focus on tradition in this jubilee year increased the pressure on visitors to come in lederhosen and dirndls. Indeed, Bavarian folk fashion is becoming ever more popular around Germany in a marked change from just a few years ago when most northern Germans wouldn't have been seen dead in a pair of leather breeches or a frilly folk dress.

The theft of the heavy beer glasses fell to an estimated 130,000 this year, but police said there was a disturbing rise in the number of brawls in which the mugs were used as weapons.

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