Oktoberfest Marks 200 Years as presented by: Sacramento Bee

It's a wedding party that got out of control: Two hundred years ago, Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig celebrated his royal nuptials with a big public bash that was such a hit it became an annual event -- and came to be known worldwide as "The Oktoberfest." His bride, Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghusen, gave her name to the Theresienwiese festival grounds upon which the event welcomes more than 6 million people a year for towering mugs of beer, oompah music and bright traditional costumes. The "Wiesn" -- as Oktoberfest is locally known -- was put on hold for various reasons during its 200-year history, including the two World Wars, the Franco-Prussian war, and cholera epidemics. That makes this year the 177th edition. Young women laugh with beer steins in their hands after the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich. Bavarian mountain riflemen stand during the opening ceremony of the "Historical Wiesn' in Munich, southern Germany. Overview of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich.

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