Kegs tapped, Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich, mugs clink marking 200 years of celebrating beer

BERLIN (AP) — Munich's mayor has tapped the first keg, opening this year's annual Oktoberfest in southern Germany, where millions of guest from around the globe are expected to clink mugs of frothy beer in celebration of 200 years of the world renown festival.

Mayor Christian Ude used two swift taps of his hammer to open the first keg Saturday and declare "O'zapft is," or "It's tapped," signaling the opening of the beer festival that runs for the next 17 days.

This year's Oktoberfest marks 200 years since it was first held to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.

It is also the first year that smoking will be banned in the beer tents after the southern German state of Bavaria passed strict anti-smoking legislation earlier this year.