Picture gallery: Portsmouth Oktoberfest

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As the world’s biggest beer festival, Oktoberfest has a 200-year tradition in its native Germany.

At the weekend, thousands flocked to Portsmouth and raised a stein to the Bavarian custom, as the city launched its first Oktoberfest.

A group gathers round to raise a glass Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-086)

A group gathers round to raise a glass Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-086)

The square was transformed into a glorious beer hall for two days of merriment, complete with plenty of lederhosen.

Beer flowed by the gallon as patrons tucked into authentic Bavarian cuisine and sang their hearts out to joyous live music and DJ sets.

Oompah Brass led the weekend’s entertainment, raising plenty of cheers with renditions of The Village People’s YMCA and Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen – not to mention many performances of Ein Prosit.

Emma Holt, from Waterlooville, said: ‘I loved every minute, especially the music. They played all the cheesy songs I love!’

Some of the Oktoberfest guests  Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-054)

Some of the Oktoberfest guests Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-054)

Dan Pike, from Eastney, added: ‘Portsmouth is really being put on the map by the organisers.’

Organised by Andy Marsh James Ralls and Ben Miles, who are also the founders of Victorious Festival, as well as Luke Betts from Mutiny Festival, there are high hopes that Oktoberfest will become a mainstay of Portsmouth’s cultural calendar.

Operations manager Tiffany Gaskell said: ‘We had a really good turnout and a brilliant crowd with a wide range in both age and in walks of life. It was a big cultural and social exchange where everyone is able to get along with one another.

‘We would love for it to be a regular fixture, if everything goes well and Portsmouth City Council agree with it then it’s definitely something that we would look into.’

Drinkers with steins at the ready Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-077)

Drinkers with steins at the ready Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-077)

Thousands turned out for Oktoberfest (161466-059)

Thousands turned out for Oktoberfest (161466-059)

Gigi Qweza and Alexine Clarke. Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-097)

Gigi Qweza and Alexine Clarke. Picture: Habibur Rahman (161466-097)

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