With the statement "Angezapft ist es" -- "It's been tapped" -- the mayor kicks off the official Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany, each year. Thus he taps the first of 5 million kegs of beer consumed during the celebration.
Oktoberfest started as the wedding feast for Crown Prince Ludwig and Theresa von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810. It has evolved into a 16-day bender, often called the called the world's largest festival.
Americans get caught up in the Oktoberfest spirit, too, to celebrate German heritage with music, beer and typical Bavarian foods like bratwurst and sauerkraut.
There are several Oktoberfest celebrations planned around Carson City over the next two weeks. Here's a quick rundown:
-- The Carson City Library Foundation's fifth annual Oktoberfest is at Mills Park on Saturday. Organizers will get the party going with polkas and funky chicken dance to tunes by the Rhone River Stompers.
"This year, we're really hoping the crowd will get motivated and do some polka dancing," said organizer Andrea Moore.
The library expects to draw 1,000 people from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the Pony Express Pavilion. Among the highlights will be a craft fair of hand-crocheted items, candles, painted rocks, suncatchers, ceramics and mystical items.
Oktoberfest sausages provided by the Sausage Factory of Carson will be sold with sauerkraut, potato salad and a roll for $4 . A $3 plate will include a bratwurst on a bun with or without sauerkraut. A hot dog plate will also be available. Desserts will include German chocolate cake, apple kuchen, brownies and Black Forest cake.
Members of the Capitol City Clog Academy will dance. Activities for children will include a bounce house and games specially created for the festival, Moore said. The event will also feature a used- and new-book sale by the Friends of the Carson City Library.
The green hats given out last year will be offered again at the gate. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children and $5 for a family of four or more.
Call 887-2244 or go to www.carson-city.nv.us/library/oktoberfest.
-- Anna Marie "Mia" and Max Kuerzi of Mia's Swiss Restaurant in Dayton will hold their 15th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. The couple, who came to Nevada from Switzerland, will offer authentic Oktoberfest foods, including sauerbraten, bratwursts, speck (smoked bacon) a variety of cold cuts, salads and potato pancakes. They will also pour Spaten Oktobefest beers from Munich. The buffet starts at 6 p.m., and musical entertainment -- including an oompa band with German kappellmeister (band leader) Hans Keller -- will start at 6:30. Mia's is in the historic Odeon Hall at 56 Pike St. in old town Dayton. Call for reservations: 246-3993.
-- The Carson Valley Inn's annual Oktoberfest and Beer Tasting is 7-10 p.m. Oct. 17. Multiple food stations in the Shannon Ballroom will offer all-you-can-eat beer-steamed sausage, nockwurst, bockwurst, sauerbraten, pork loins, German cold cuts, cheeses potato pancakes, spaetzle and a big hot pretzel bar.
"Not to mention a whole festival of German deserts and strudels," said Bill Henderson, director of sales and marketing.
Taste ales, lagers, pilsners and stouts from regional microbreweries, then take home your mug. The Al Gruber Bavarian Band will provide live music.
"It's traditionally an evening that starts out quietly and quickly progresses to a true definition of adults having some raucous fun," said Henderson. Tickets, including all food, drink, tax and gratuity are $45 per person. Call Ana 783-6611.
-- The Oktoberfest at the Valhalla Boathouse Theater in Camp Richardson west of South Lake Tahoe is Saturday and Sunday. Booths will offer barbecued food and hot pretzels, and there will be a pumpkin patch. The festivities are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Call (530) 541-1801.