THE world famous Oktoberfest returned to Portsmouth for its third year tonight as a huge weekend of traditional Bavarian fun came to Southsea.
The most important date of Germany's cultural calendar arrived in Portsmouth once again as revellers embraced the unique German entertainment, as well as the delicious food and drink.
With one of Europe’s largest beer tents at Oktoberfest’s new destination at Castle Fields, partygoers were able to take advantage of the full bodied giant beer on tap – known as stein – as merry people soaked up the jovial atmosphere.
The event included a showcase some of the best and most authentic oompah bands from around the world as people sang and danced to the traditional songs blazing out.
Hungry people were not disappointed either with there a large selection of traditional German foods including its famous array of sausages.
Promoter Andy Marsh said: ‘We are delighted to be holding our third event here in Portsmouth. Having it here at Castle Fields is great because it gives us a lot more room and is easier to set things up and for people to get to.
‘People have come from all over to be here. There’s plenty of entertainment with something for everyone whether that is drinking the German beer, enjoying the bands or dressing up. It’s just a great way for people to have a fun by doing something different to what they would normally do.
‘There is a tremendous atmosphere in the tent when the bands play and the place is packed. We have a 50 metre beer tent with a giant bar that runs all along one side so hopefully there is not too much queuing.’
He added: ‘Everyone has a good time and drinks responsibly but we have plenty of water, good security and a welfare team all here to help.’
Oktoberfest Portsmouth celebrates an ongoing 65 year partnership between Portsmouth and Duisburg, Germany, with the cities twinned since 1950.
The event is run over three sessions; Friday evening, Saturday afternoon (12pm – 5pm) and Saturday evening (6pm – 11pm).
Revellers certainly seemed to be making the most of the annual event. Tim Fitch, 53, of Horndean, said: ‘I’ve been here for the last couple of years – it’s really good. Everyone has a good time and enjoys the beers. I’ll only need three of these beers though.’
Festival-goer Gavin Williams, 40, added: ‘I love a good beer so for me there’s nothing better than coming to this event and trying out the Bavarian styles on offer.’