Beer, oompah and lederhosen!

Revellers at last year's Oktoberfest in Portsmouth

GALLONS of free-flowing beer, lederhosen and plenty of live entertainment can only mean one thing.

Oktoberfest returns to Guildhall Square this weekend after making a successful debut last year.

And more than 10,000 people are expected to descend on the city centre across the event’s three sessions, which kick-off tomorrow evening.

Originally a tradition from Bavaria with more than 200 years of history, Oktoberfests, modelled on the Munich event, now take place all over the world. The event in Portsmouth is run by the teams behind the Victorious and Mutiny festivals.

Co-organiser Ben Miles said: ‘I’ll be there throughout – I was there for all of it last year – I like to see the product of everyone’s hard work.

‘It was awesome last year, it surpassed even our expectations, so we’ve got high hopes for this year too. It’s all pretty much ready to go now. We’ve got a clear roof on the two main tents, so you get like an almost panoramic view of the square. It’s looking good.’

Up to 30,000 litres of beer are expected to be downed, while punters will be entertained by oompah bands and acts from the local music scene. There will be German snacks such as sausages and pretzels.

Ben said: ‘We always encourage people to come in fancy dress as well, which a lot of people get involved with – it really adds to the atmosphere.’

And they’re already looking ahead beyond 2017.

‘The council liked the event last year, and it has been really supportive and helpful for this year, so we’re hoping there’s a good chance for next year as well,’ added Ben,

There are three sessions – tomorrow from 6pm to 11pm, and then midday to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm on Saturday.

People are being advised to bring ID, as they operate a Challenge 25 policy – only driver’s licences or passports will be accepted.

Last entry is two hours after the start of each session, and there is no re-entry.

For information and tickets go to oktoberfestportsmouth.co.uk

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