Addison's Oktober Fest: The Bigger the Stein the Better

Time to dust off your beer steins. Not days after Brew at the Zoo, from which I'm still hungover, it's time to start planning next weekend's beer-laden festivities. Addison's 24th annual Oktoberfest kicks off this Thursday evening with a ceremonial keg-tapping by Mayor Todd Meier.

Admission is free for the opening events, which will save you $10 you can easily spend on beer and authentic German food. Crowds on Thursday are smaller as well, so you can avoid the impending weekend crush if you and your liver don't mind dancing on a work night.

Don't forget that stein. While you can always purchase one of the commemorative half-liter mugs sold at the event, anything that will hold liquid can be filled for five drink tickets ($1 each). Spokeswoman Kelly Hunter was told there's no limit to the size of your vessel, though extremely large containers may require additional tickets (at the discretion of the person manning the tap).

More than 75,000 people are expected to attend this year, says Hunter, who was quick to point out the event is listed on the USA Today's compilation of the nation's best Oktoberfest celebrations.

Sunday is another slow day if you're crowd averse, and the admission price drops to $5. The closing events also plas host the dachshund parade and races, because nothing complements drinking beer from gargantuan mugs like itty bitty wiener-dogs.

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