An annual event dedicated to the mixture of man's two basic passions: beer and small arms fire. Originally, it was meant to celebrate the beginning of winter and the end of a long summer season of gun running for fun and profit.

The name is a bit of a misnomer, actually: the traditionally reliable Walther P-38 and Walther PPK are both acceptable substitutes for the Glock. Most organisers try to maintain a pan-European flavour for the event. Thus, 9mm is the traditional calibre of celebration, accompanied by either a low-end Warsteiner or Becks (the German equivalents of American Old Style or Budweiser, though still infinitely better-tasting), and only rarely will you find the American .38's or .44's. Lederhosen are also a thing of the past, and blue-jeans have become quite common.

The festival only officially begins with the simultaneous tapping of the first winter keg (usually a 'starkbier', a thick ale similar to Guinness) and lock, load and discharge of the ceremonial first round. A period of quite reminiscence is undertaken until the first clip is emptied, in remembrance of fallen homies.

I have not attended a real Glocktoberfest celebration in several years. As the celebration began to spread from Europe and through the strong foothold it gained in certain parts of Texas to the rest of America, I feel it has become far too commercialised, forgetting many of its simple cartel roots.

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