Many of the beers are imported from Germany.
“You will be able to drink the same beer here that will be served in Munich during their Oktoberfest in a few weeks,” he said. Wines will be available, too, and soft drinks and water will be free to designated drivers wearing wristbands. Taxi service will be available as well.
Once visitors pass beneath the banner with the German words of welcome, “Wilkommen zum Oktoberfest,” they are likely to hear the sounds of accordions, tubas and clarinets coming from the stage where four bands take turns entertaining guests seated at long tables.
Three of the bands have been playing at the festival more than 15 years. The bands come from Texas but have names that suggest they might hail from Bavaria: AlpenMusikanten, from Dallas, and Alpenfest from Houston. The Chicken Dance draws hundreds to the dance floor.
Adding extra days isn't the only change, Turek said. For the first time, outside vendors who serve grilled onion burgers, hot dogs, roasted corn and roasted nuts have been given tent space. Three large-screen televisions will show sporting events, and a non-German band will provide music in another tent.