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Volume 3  Issue 40 ,  September 30, October 7, 2004   
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Party time at Oktoberfest  

The Lasterbacher Band ...
setting the tone of festivities

THE conference centre of the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain, will once again wear the look of the Schottenhamel tent on September 30, as the guests get a chance of living the heady magic of the popular Bavarian festival – the Oktoberfest.

Although the festival – which is more of a beer festival with quite a bit of history – is being organised at the hotel for close to 20 years now, there will be a revival of sorts when the beer mugs get filled with fresh lager on the last Thursday of the month.
Oktoberfest will not just be bigger, but Gulf Hotel promises a fantastic atmosphere drummed up by the six-piece Lasterbacher Band, a fabulous buffet, a good collection of the best of German wine with an assortment of regular and premium spirits, and a lot of fun and contests that could leave everybody swinging.
With the furniture rearranged to suit the Bavarian way of eating and dining, with long tables joined end-to-end allowing the guests to sit side-by-side, it will be a long night of eat, drinks and dance.
As the evening passes into night and the spirits start taking a toll Germans indulge in a dance called the schlun beln, which is more of swaying from side to side with your arms locked in the arms of your neighbours at the elbows.
One of the main attractions of the festival will be a drinking contest during which German beer is served in heavy, one-litre mugs, making the action of bringing a mug to the mouth equal to a five-pound biceps curl!
Plenty of food accompanies the various beers that are available. Some of the favourites include the pickled and marinated fish, Black Forest Ham, Bavarian sausage, pickled cabbage, pickled pork knuckle, bread dumplings, German noodle, German bread, pickled braised beef, meat loaf, suckling pig, among others.
The buffet also includes a list of mouth-watering German desserts that include apple strudel, black forest cake, Bienenstiel (sweet yeast dough glazed with honey and almonds)
The first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17 with a horse race. The following years, the festivities continued and, were lengthened to include many more events.
Advancing the festivities into the month of September, allowed for better weather conditions.
Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly.
Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition has continued into present times.
Tickets are priced at BD14 (regular) and BD13 (for the Prestige Club), and are inclusive of buffet.

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