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The original Oktoberfest began in 1812 as a way for the general public to commemorate the nuptials of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Why am I telling you this? Decorum; I thought I'd class this up with some history before jumping right into the beer list for this year's Soulard Oktoberfest. Hold on to your lederhosen, schatzi, this is the big one. Festivalgoers this year can choose the obligatory Budweiser/Bud Light, or they can opt for something from the Old Country; Becks, Kulmbacher (its Festival Beer, Kulmbacher Edelherb, Kulmbacher Wheat and the amazing Monchshof Schwarz — the Black Pils of legend), and the redoubtable Paulaner (Lager or its delicious Oktoberfest). In all, 2,000 kegs of beer are being prepped for this year's celebration, which takes place at South Broadway and Lafayette Avenue from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday (October 12 through 14). In addition to the beer, there are a ton of food options and live musical acts including perennial fest favorites Brave Combo, Germany's Michael Meier Band, Polka Floyd (polka meets Pink Floyd on the dark side of the keg) and even a Alpenhorn group. General admission is $5, and VIP options ($50 to $125) are available; check www.soulardoktoberfest.com for availability and more information. You must be at least 21 to drink — they won't serve you if you're underage, so don't even ask.
Oct. 12-14, 2012

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