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Oktoberfest brings Bavarian beer bonanza to Dublin

DUBLIN'S Docklands became a part of Bavaria today as the city's own Oktoberfest 2010 got under way.

Traditional German food, music and beer brought crowds to George's Dock where market stalls and a giant marquee enlivened the normally sedate banking quarter.

The event, sponsored by Erdinger beer, will last for 10 days.

Every night original Bavarian band Mostlandsturmer will sing songs and invite the Irish to join in the 'schunkel' -- which means linking arms and swaying from side to side.

Waitresses from Munich will serve fresh beer in gigantic one-and-a-half litre steins.

They will also be serving leberkas, a slice of cooked meat, sauerkraut, bratwurst (fried sausage), wiesenhendl (barbecue chicken) and kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) as well as various non-alcoholic drinks.

Entrance is free on all days until 10pm, when visitors must buy a €5 wristband which entitles them to a voucher for a "substantial meal". The event is a mini-version of the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.

Events for the whole family will take place during weekends, including children's entertainment with a Bavarian flavour.

The Irish version of the festival has been very successful over the past few years, with more than 40,000 people attending last year.

Daniela Scherbring, spokeswoman for Oktoberfest, told the Herald: "We are so glad to be in Dublin for another year. It is the perfect venue.

"Dublin people and Irish people are like the Bavarians, as they like getting together with friends and having a good time."