Millions of pints later, Oktoberfest closes

October 7, 2012 - 7:34 AM
APTOPIX Germany Oktoberfest

Bavarian riflemen and women in traditional costumes fire their muzzle loaders in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Members of various shooting clubs of the region met for a salute on the last day of the famous Oktoberfest beer festival. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

BERLIN (AP) — Munich's famed celebration of beer, the Oktoberfest, is drawing to a close after some 6.4 million visitors downed an estimated 6.9 million liter mugs of Bavarian brew — some 14.6 million pints.

Organizers said they were satisfied with this year's event, which opened Sept. 22 and ends Sunday — although visitor numbers were lower than last year.

Festival director Dieter Reiter says that's because the festival grounds were reduced to accommodate an agricultural fair which takes place every four years, news agency dapd reported. In 2011, the Oktoberfest drew some 6.9 million visitors, who downed well over 7 million liters.

The Oktoberfest draws visitors from across the world — many of whom try out traditional Bavarian dress. Reiter says: "Purely from a visual point of view, there are only Bavarians."