I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Food and Wine reports that Oktoberfest is being canceled again, for the second year in a row. My family and I visited Germany decades ago, and we got to see Munich just before the celebration kicked off. It looked like it would have been a lot of fun, if we’d stuck around. Too bad my parents aren’t partiers. But this news is a stark reminder that not only is the pandemic not over, it’s still got enough momentum that canceling events remains the safer route.
Munich’s Lord Mayor, Deiter Rieter, said on the official Oktoberfest website, “It wasn’t an easy decision, but I have to make it now and I have done so,” citing public health concerns. Expecting a rowdy beer-fueled crowd to observe masking etiquette probably wouldn’t work too well, knowing human beings, in general.
Last year’s cancelation marked the first time Oktoberfest had to pause since World War II. Roughly six million people make the pilgrimage to Munich every year for the the big tented celebration. We’ve missed enough parties in the past year and a half, one more isn’t going to hurt as badly. That being said, the European Union is looking to reopen its borders to vaccinated people—which is all the more reason to get your vaccination. If you can’t join a massive party, you can still travel responsibly, which seems like a pretty damn good carrot on a stick to get your shots.