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Lifestyle

Oktoberfest presents beer ice cream and world's tallest swing

Tip: Try the rollercoasters, then the beer. Oktoberfest presents a collection of superlative fair rides, from the world's biggest haunted house to tallest super swing. The beer, by the way, keeps getting pricier.

The world's most famous folk festival - Oktoberfest - is known for its giant mugs of beer. But "giant" applies to quite a lot at the event that runs this year from September 19 to October 4.

This year, the world's largest haunted house will be introduced to the "Wies'n" fairgrounds, as will the fastest and highest giant swing on the planet, organizers announced Thursday (30.07.2015). Add to that the highest transportable skyscraper in the world, "The Tower Event Center."

If your stomach is already turning, then you won't be disappointed to learn that beer prices have jumped again, as usual. This year, a Mass (just over a liter) goes for 10 euros ($11) to 10.40, up from 9.70-10.10 last year.

16 festive beer halls will provide room for 118,000 seats. Traditionally, that's where six of Munich's biggest breweries - Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spaten and Staatliches Hofbräuhaus - serve their wares in huge mugs.

Crews set up for Oktoberfest 2015, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Kneffe

The set-up for this year's festival is already underway

An additional 128 food stations will dish out Bavarian specialties like roast chicken, local Obatzda cheese, sausages, fried fish, and ox meat.

New on the menu this year is beer-flavored ice cream, flower-shaped cotton candy, and diabetes-friendly nuts fried in pear sugar, announced Wies'n director Josef Schmid.

Oktoberfest originally dates back to 1810, when King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen celebrated their wedding with a huge outdoor party. Since then, the festival has taken place every year with 24 exceptions due to the world wars and a cholera epidemic in the mid-19th century.

This year, over six million visitors from all over the world are expected to make a pilgrimage to the Wies'n.

Let's hope most of them remember to order their beer after they've tried out the world's biggest swing. Otherwise some of the 13,000 Oktoberfest employees may have an unpleasant job to do. Fortunately, there are 1,500 toilets on the Wies'n which are all available free of charge.

kbm/eg (dpa, Oktoberfest.de)

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