Oktoberfest beer and beef sales hit an all-time record
Oct 7, 2007, 13:34 GMT
Munich - Sales of beer at Oktoberfest, the annual beer festival in the German city of Munich, hit an all-time record despite a fall in visitor attendance, fest officials said Sunday.
Waiters and waitresses in Bavarian national dress served 6.7 one-litre steins of beer, said Gabriele Weishaeupl, chief executive of the event, on the fest's last day.
The visitors also gobbled up 104 roasted bullocks. That was also a record: last year 102 cattle were enough to feed the crowds eager for beef.
Held in the heart of Munich, Oktoberfest was drawing to an end in bright sunshine Sunday with the crowds still queueing in the hope of a rare seat in the beer tents or a ride in the funfair section.
Visitor numbers at the event, including children on the rides, elderly folk quietly enjoying the beer-gardens and young revellers drinking to the oompah music, slipped 300,000 to 6.2 million.
Many visitors from round the world donned Bavarian clothes, including men's leather shorts held up by braces over the shoulders, during their sessions in the gaily painted beer tents.
Women wore the local 'dirndl' frocks, which include a bodice with a deep neckline and a white apron. Weishaeupl praised the dressing up, saying it had been one of the best features of this year's fest.
She said Italians made up the biggest single non-German group, but attendance from the United States and eastern Europe had risen. Oktoberfest this year began on September 22.
Weishaeupl said the beer-consumption record was adjusted to the length of the event, since the exceptional 2006 Oktoberfest was two days longer and scored a total of 6.9 million litres of beer sold.
Police said they answered more calls at the fest than in the past, but violence was generally reduced.
Guards employed by the beer-vendors at the tent exits confiscated about 200,000 steins from guests who tried to take the glass mugs home with them as souvenirs.
Peter Lang, head of the Bavarian Red Cross ambulance team at the event, said 565 people who drank themselves into a stupor had to be sobered up during the fest.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur