Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich

BERLIN (AP) - September 18, 2010

Mayor Christian Ude used two swift taps of his hammer to open the first keg Saturday and declare "O'zapft is," or "It's tapped," signaling the opening of the beer festival that runs for the next 17 days.

This year's Oktoberfest marks 200 years since it was first held to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.

It is also the first year that smoking will be banned in the beer tents after the southern German state of Bavaria passed strict anti-smoking legislation earlier this year.

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