How to Celebrate Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, held September 21 – October 6, 2019, is known as the biggest party in the world. First held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, today’s festivities take place over two weeks, with every day dedicated to enjoying German beer and food. Whether you’re planning a trip to Munich or throwing a party closer to home, celebrating Oktoberfest means surrounding yourself with good friends, tasty food, and plenty of beer. O’zapft is (The beer is tapped)!

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Throwing an Oktoberfest Party
Invite guests a week or two ahead of time. The traditional Oktoberfest party in Munich is enormous, with over 6 million attendees over the course of a few weeks. For a backyard, DIY Oktoberfest party, anywhere from 5-15 guests is a good range. You can invite them through text or e-vites or send out Oktoberfest-themed paper invitations for a fun, traditional flair.[1]
You can invite your friends as soon as you start planning, but try to get the word out at least a week or two in advance. Ask them to RSVP so you know how much food and drink to provide.
Specify the date and time, and whether guests should brings dishes or beer to share, like a potluck.
If you send out paper invitations, decorate them with Bavarian flags, beer mugs, and Gothic-style fonts to fit your theme.
Encourage male guests to wear traditional clothes like lederhosen. Dressing in “tracht,” or traditional German attire, can make your Oktoberfest party feel authentic, festive, and much more fun. For men, this means the classic lederhosen and hat pairing, which you can find online, in costume stores, or around the house for a DIY version![2]
Let female guests come in their best dirndls. Women have their own version of tracht, complete with a three-piece dress called a dirndl. You can buy one online or in costume stores, or make it with clothes you already have. Just be careful how you tie on your apron! Tying a bow on the left means you’re single, while putting it on the right indicates that you’re married or in a relationship.[3]
Set out a table and benches outside to replicate the community atmosphere. Oktoberfest traditionally is celebrated in big tents and long, community-style tables, making it a celebration of culture and togetherness. Bring this feeling into your own Oktoberfest party by setting out long, rectangular tables outside with benches, if you can. Incorporate the blue and white colors of the Bavarian flag by covering the tables with a blue and white checked tablecloth, or a simple white one with blue decorations.[4]
Fill clean, empty beer bottles with flowers or wheat straws to add a unique autumn flair to your table decorations.
Decorate with flags and beer steins. Hang up Bavarian flags, streamers, and lanterns around your yard. Set out candles on the table for lighting and add additional flair with traditional German items, like beer steins and Alpine hats. Don’t go overboard with your decorations—keep it simple and unified with the blue and white color scheme for a laidback, authentic Oktoberfest feel.[5]
You can also make your own pretzel garland to hang and nibble from. Make or buy soft pretzels and thread them together with twine. Hang them from a fence or gazebo and tell your guests to tear them off when they get hungry!
Prepare traditional German food, like sausages and sauerkraut. Oktoberfest parties aren’t complete without some tasty German foods to soak up the beer. Meat is a must, especially sausages, along with some bread and veggies for variety. Set the food out on the table and encourage guests to help themselves![6]
Serve snacks in empty cardboard six-packs. In addition to heavy, filling “main course” items like meats and soft pretzels, you’ll also want to set out some light snacks for guests to nibble on throughout the night. Go with salty snacks like popcorn, hard pretzels, nuts, and crackers. Instead of bowls, set them out in empty cardboard six-pack holders for a cute, Oktoberfest-themed alternative.[7]
Serve plenty of German beers in steins. It’s an Oktoberfest party—beer is the number one priority! For a money-saving, potluck-style option, you can ask your guests to bring a six-pack each of their favorite, ideally German-style brew. For a more traditional Oktoberfest experience, you’ll need to buy from the 6 breweries that make the official Oktoberfestbier served in Munich.[8]
Set out German desserts like Lebkuchen hearts or Black Forest cake. End the night on a sweet note with traditional German desserts. Bake or buy Black Forest cake, a rich chocolate torte mixed with sour cherries and Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy. You can also hand out “Lebkuchen” hearts, heart-shaped gingerbread cookies traditionally served at German Oktoberfest celebrations.[9]
Lebkuchen hearts are traditionally decorated with love notes for a sweetheart. You can get your guests involved by making the gingerbread cookies beforehand, then setting up a cookie-decorating station to let everyone write their own messages.
Play brass band “oompah” music for an upbeat, traditional feel. Bigger celebrations often book brass bands to play German “oompah” music, but if you can’t get live music, try playing some from a speaker system. It’s fun to dance to and can solidify the Bavarian feel of your party.[10][Edit]Celebrating in Germany and Around the World
Head to Munich for the original and largest Oktoberfest celebration. Oktoberfest has been held in Munich since 1810, and the main celebration still takes place in the original meadow, called Theresienwiese or “Wiesn.” The festival attracts over 6 million guests a year and is known as the biggest party in the world. It’ll be expensive, but might be worth it if you love drinking beer, meeting new people, and experiencing a fun cultural tradition.[11]
Book flights and accommodations as early as you can. Munich fills up fast in the days before the festival, especially near the start and end. Look for deals and packages online, and consider staying in hostels or Airbnbs instead of hotels.
Get there on the first day to see the ceremonial start to the festival. Oktoberfest kicks off on Saturday, September 21, 2019 with a ceremony and parade. The mayor of Munich will tap the first barrel of beer, followed by saluting shots at the Bavaria statue that signal to the city that Oktoberfest has started. Later, a big parade of horse-drawn carriages representing different breweries will march down the streets of Munich.[12]
The Costume and Riflemen’s Procession takes place on the first Sunday of the festival. Ceremonial “troops” march down the streets in historical uniforms, accompanied by marching bands, animals like horses, cows, and goats, and floats displaying local traditions.
Another main event, the open-air Oktoberfest music concert, takes place a week later, on the second Sunday of Oktoberfest.
Dress up in dirndls and lederhosen for a fun, traditional look. Many Oktoberfest-goers, both Bavarian’s and foreigners, deck out in lederhosen and dirndls for the festival. It’s not required, but can be a fun excuse to wear a costume and feel like a part of the festivities. You can buy your clothes online beforehand or head to one of the shops in the city that specializes in them.[13]
Book a place in the more popular tents to ensure a spot. Entry to Oktoberfest is free, but you can get turned away from tents when they start to fill up. To avoid this, get there early, especially on the weekends; the festival opens at 9:30 am and goes until around midnight, but the official guide recommends arriving no later than 2:30 pm. You can also request to reserve seating ahead of time using the Oktoberfest website.[14]
To reserve seats, go to https://www.muenchen.de/int/en/events/oktoberfest/beertents/advice-for-reservations.html.
The most crowded tents are typically the Hofbräu tent, which is popular with foreigners, and the Schottenhamel tent, which is the largest, seating 10,000 people.
Head to the smaller tents during the week for a more diverse and less crowded experience. The main tents are often packed, but Oktoberfest is huge—you can easily find less crowded tents for a more interesting and relaxing experience. Check out these options on the weekdays, especially, to have the most time and space to look around and sample beers at your leisure.[15]
The Winzerer Fähndl tent, for example, has a beer garden, while the Hackerbräu tent is completely decorated in the Bavarian colors of blue and white.
The smallest tent is the Glöckle Wirt tent, which seats just 98 people and lines its walls with traditional cooking utensils, musical instruments, and paintings.
Check out the rides and music for entertainment. There’s more to Oktoberfest than just eating and drinking! Check out the festival attractions, which include small rollercoasters, spinning rides, and merry-go-rounds, or listen and dance to the live brass bands playing fun “oompah” music.[16]
If you don’t like beers as much, you can also check out the Weinzelt, or wine tent, or snack on sweet treats and pastries from different tents.
Check out worldwide Oktoberfest celebrations if you can’t make it to Munich. Munich may be the traditional heart of Oktoberfest, but the festival is now celebrated all over the world. If you can’t make it to Germany this fall, try an international celebration and get a different flavor of the festival. You can also go online to see what local Oktoberfest events are being held in your area.[17][Edit]Sample Oktoberfest Food and Drinks
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5d9412b24ad4e’)Oktoberfest Foods to ServeWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5d9412b24b634’) Typical Oktoberfest Drinks
[Edit]Tips
Check the Oktoberfest website for tips, maps, and rules to follow at https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/.[Edit]Warnings
Remember to always drink safely and responsibly.
Organizers have tightened Oktoberfest security in Munich, but do your best to stay alert in case of emergency.[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ http://www.backyardoktoberfest.com/host-your-own-oktoberfest/

↑ https://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/10-tips-throwing-authentic-oktoberfest-party-slideshow/slide-3

↑ https://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/10-tips-throwing-authentic-oktoberfest-party-slideshow/slide-3

↑ https://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/10-tips-throwing-authentic-oktoberfest-party-slideshow/slide-3

↑ https://www.rachaelraymag.com/real-life/oktoberfest-party-plan

↑ https://www.rachaelraymag.com/real-life/oktoberfest-party-plan

↑ https://www.rachaelraymag.com/real-life/oktoberfest-party-plan

↑ https://www.rachaelraymag.com/real-life/oktoberfest-party-plan

↑ https://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/805725/how-to-host-an-oktoberfest-party/3

↑ https://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/10-tips-throwing-authentic-oktoberfest-party-slideshow/slide-8

↑ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/germany/munich/articles/Oktoberfest-Munich-guide/

↑ https://www.muenchen.de/int/en/events/oktoberfest/schedule.html

↑ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/germany/munich/articles/Oktoberfest-Munich-guide/

↑ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/germany/munich/articles/Oktoberfest-Munich-guide/

↑ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/germany/munich/articles/Oktoberfest-Munich-guide/

↑ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/germany/munich/articles/Oktoberfest-Munich-guide/

↑ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/best-places-celebrate-oktoberfest-outside-munich-180952714/

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Today in History for 1st October 2019

Historical Events

1908 – Henry Ford introduces the Model T car (costs $825)
1948 – Radio Denmark begins transmitting
1950 – Philadelphia Phillies clinch NL pennant on Dick Sisler’s 3-run home run in a season ending 4-1 win v Brooklyn Dodgers; Phillies first pennant since 1913
1953 – KJEO TV channel 47 in Fresno, CA (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
1978 – Comoros adopts constitution
1986 – New Zealand’s Labour Government introduces a Goods and Services Tax (GST), adding 10% to the cost of most goods and services

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1893 – Cliff Friend, American pianist and songwriter, born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1974)
1930 – Naimatullah Khan, Pakistani politician
1945 – Donny Hathaway, singer-songwriter (Where is the Love), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1979)
1969 – Zach Galifianakis, American actor (The Hangover, Birdman), born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina
1970 – Gam Wu-seong, South Korean actor
1975 – Kim Suna, Korean actress

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1570 – Frans Floris, Flemish painter (b. 1520)
1693 – Pedro Abarca, Spanish theologian (b. 1619)
1770 – Louis-Gabriel Guillemain, composer, dies at 64
1929 – Lee Richmond, American baseball pitcher (first ever MLB perfect game, 1880), dies at 72
1936 – Oscar Da Costa, West Indian cricket all-rounder (5 Tests), dies at 29
2009 – V. M. Muddiah, Indian cricket spin bowler (2 Tests), dies from stroke complications at 80

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How to Dry Up a Wet Yard

No matter where you live, a hard rain can turn your yard into a mess of mud and water puddles that won’t dry. Wet yards happen for a number of reasons but usually stem from poor soil and drainage systems. To dry out the water, check your yard to find the source of the problem. For small, individual patches of moisture, dry your yard by leveling out the soil and possibly planting water-resistant plants. For large-scale problems, look into getting a drainage system like a French drain or dry well. With the proper treatment, you won’t need to worry about water runoff causing damage to your home.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Finding the Cause of Moisture Damage
Watch your yard after a storm to see where the water accumulates. Note how the water moves across your yard during the storm. Then, take a walk around your yard right after a solid day of rain. Look for mud and standing puddles that don’t dry out within a day. Find out if the problem happens in small, separate patches or one large area.[1]
Water is supposed to move downhill, away from your home, and into a drainage outlet. If you see standing puddles or water flowing back toward your home, then the yard’s slope could be to blame.
Individual spots are much easier to treat by filling them in, amending the soil, or growing absorbent plants.
Search for leaks or other possible causes for the moisture buildup. Check the downspout coming off your roof as well as any nearby utility pipes. Leaky pipes sometimes cause small patches of moisture, including near buildings. Another possibility is that you have a natural spring that lets water come up to the surface.[2]
If you suspect a leak, try turning off your home’s water supply to see if your water meter continues to increase. For leaky municipal lines outside your home, test the water for chlorine and other treatment chemicals.
Springs often occur in hilly areas with clay soil. If you have one, consider preserving it. You could also drain it using a French pipe or another method.
Test the soil to see if it’s capable of absorbing enough water. Clay soil absorbs water, which eventually turns into puddles. To perform a test, fill a mason jar full of soil from the problem area. Fill the jar up with water, then wait for the components to separate. Sand sinks to the bottom, followed by a layer of silt, then clay.[3]
Mark the level of sand after 1 minute, then mark the silt level after 2 hours. Mark the clay level after the water in the jar clears to begin measuring the proportion of each component in the soil.
Another way to test absorption is by digging a hole deep and wide. Fill it with water to see how quickly it drains. If it takes more than 4 hours the second time, then amend the soil with sand and compost.[4]
If your soil isn’t at the right composition, amend it by mixing in sand and compost.
Aerate the soil to see if it can absorb water. Compaction is a very common problem in areas with lots of clay or foot traffic. If your yard can’t seem to retain water and you notice brown or thinning plants, get a core aerator or a gardening fork. While the soil is moist, use one of the tools to poke holes in the ground, spacing them about apart. Let your yard air out while you look for other causes behind the water problem.[5]
You can rent an aerator from most home improvement centers. An aerator is a machine that removes a plug of soil. The air that enters the holes loosens the soil to make it more absorbent.
Consult a contractor if you suspect your yard is over water or bedrock. If you know your home is in a region that has a lot of bedrock or high groundwater, you won’t be able to fix the issue without assistance. Call up the nearest extension office or your local government’s conservation department. Let them look up a regional survey map or come out to test the soil. Then, wait for them to give you advice or refer you to a qualified contractor.[6]
Another common problem in some parts of the world is marshland. You may not be able to drain marshland without government clearance first. It can also be tough to drain completely.
Usually, you need to either build a rain garden or install wells and drains to deal with these issues.[Edit]Fixing Small Patches of Moisture
Clear the wet areas of plants and debris. Pick up any noticeable rocks, sticks, and other loose material where the water tends to pool in your yard. To fix these areas, you will also need to get rid of all plants there, including grass. If you plan on saving these plants, dig carefully around them in a circle until you reach the bottom of their roots, then pry them out of the ground with a spade.[7]
If you don’t plan on saving the plants, you don’t have to be as cautious with them. You could cut larger plants to make them easier to remove. However, consider digging down to remove weed roots whole.
To remove sod, dig around the area using a spade, then use the spade to divide the sod into strips about wide. Pry up the edges of the strips to sever the roots, then roll them up by hand.
Dig out any wet areas to prepare to fix them. Use a spade or another tool to make a hole about deep. The hole can be as wide as you need, so dig out the entire problem area. Remove all of the soil in the wet spot, setting it aside on dry ground nearby or in a wheelbarrow.[8]
If the soil is dry, rent a rototiller from a nearby home improvement store. Push it over the trouble spots to turn up the soil.
If large parts of your yard are wet, you are better off rototilling the entire yard or installing a drainage system. Fill in small spots that are uneven or easy to dig up by hand.
Fill in the holes by adding a topsoil mixed with sand. Select a quality topsoil with a balanced amount of clay and sand. Then, get some construction-grade sand. Mix together 2 parts sand, 2 parts topsoil and 1 part compost. Then, combine the mixture with the original soil at the bottom of the hole. If your soil doesn’t absorb water very well, adding sand and compost can help loosen it.[9]
Mix the soil together using a spade or rototiller. When you’re done, fill in the rest of the hole as needed with more soil.
Shape the soil to fill in holes and redirect water toward drainage areas. If the problematic spots were lower than the rest of your yard, filling in and flattening them often leads to better absorption. Slope the land as needed to force water to flow toward better drainage areas. A slope of about 2% is generally steep enough to force water away from the rest of your yard. Gradually change the slope by moving the soil around and raking it flat.[10]
A slope of 2% means the elevation of the soil changes by about over in distance. A steeper slope more easily redirects excess water.
Measure the slope of an area by planting stakes and running a string between them. Keep in mind that filling in and flattening out low points in your yard can
Dig soil from higher areas to move to lower ones. You may need to work on the rest of your yard as well to form an effective slope.
Press down on the soil with a tamper tool. Get a tamper, which is a flat piece of metal that pushes soil down to compact it and level it out. Press down on the exposed soil until it blends in with the rest of your yard. Make sure it looks flat or forms a smooth slope capable of absorbing and redirecting water.[11]
Watering the lawn will also help compact the soil mixture. Use the moisture to check how well the sand and compost help solve the drainage issue.
Cover the ground with water-absorbing plants if it is bare. Sod and grass seeds are some of the best ways to fix swampy areas in a yard. If you just finished amending an area with new topsoil, complete it with a fresh covering. Try unrolling sod over the bare area. If you’re filling in a grassy yard, spread grass seeds and rake them into the soil.[12]
Consider covering fresh grass seeds with a layer of topsoil followed by an equal layer of straw to protect them from birds.
If you’re looking for something different, get some moisture-resistant plants like ferns, phlox, violets, arrowwood, and elderberry. These plants can help dry out your yard even if the soil composition and grade aren’t a problem.[Edit]Eliminating Widespread Moisture Problems
Add compost if your yard doesn’t have a good soil consistency. Use an organic compost like leaf mulch, grass clippings, or even bark. If you have grass, spread the compost into a -thick layer. Rake it into the soil at least once a year, either in late fall or early spring. The organic material opens up the soil for better drainage while also promoting the growth of water-absorbing plants.[13]
As long as you don’t add too much compost, it won’t cover up grass and other existing plants in your yard. Many wet spots are already barren, so they will stay barren until you grow something, such as sod or grass.
You may need to wait a couple of seasons to see any change in the soil. The organic material needs time to break down and mix into the yard.
If your yard is in bad shape, consider renting a rototiller to mix compost about deep into the soil. Doing this will destroy a lawn but have a much more immediate effect on drainage.
Consider mixing sand or peat moss into the soil as well if you plan on rototilling the entire yard. It helps drain water from poor, clay-heavy soil.
Make a French drain if you need to draw water away from the yard. A French drain isn’t as fancy as it sounds. It is little more than a perforated pipe in the ground. To start, dig a trench about wide and at least in your yard. Then, line the trench with landscape paper before, then set the pipe on top of it. Cover it with gravel, followed by topsoil to hide it.[14]
When the drainage pipe works correctly, water seeps through the fabric. The pipe then carries excess moisture away to a lower part of your yard.
The French pipe works best when it spans from the wet areas in your yard toward drainage spots like a storm drain or swale. A swale is a shallow ditch that may contain a drainage outlet.
Check online or at a home improvement store for a French drainage pipe. If you can’t find one, make one by poking plastic holes in a regular pipe.
Construct a dry well to direct rainwater near buildings. For a dry well, you need to dig a hole about from the nearest drain or downspout in the wet portion of your yard. Fit it with a plastic dry well tank, then line the tank with landscape paper. Next, run a PVC pipe from the drainage pipe or downspout to the tank. Fill in the remaining space with gravel.[15]
Landscape paper releases water while preventing gravel from getting into the tank. It enables the tank to store water and gradually release it so your yard doesn’t get too wet.
Shop online or at local home improvement stores for the supplies you need.
Install a cistern if you need to store water runoff from the roof. A cistern is very similar to a dry well, but it is usually used to redirect rainwater back into your home. Have a contractor dig a hole in your yard and then place the tank in it. The tank is usually made of material like concrete and cinder blocks. The water then can be rerouted to your home through PVC pipes fitted to the tank’s valve and pump.[16]
Another option is to get an above-ground cistern, which is just a big barrel to store water collected from smaller rain barrels.
A cistern is a great way to save money by repurposing rainwater. Use it wherever you don’t need clean drinking water, such as for laundry, toilets, or watering plants.
Build a rain garden if you live in a rainy climate. Since you can’t stop heavy rainfall, let a garden handle the problem. You will need to remove existing plants and debris before shaping the soil into a raised area with a small ridge around it. Make sure your yard slopes toward the rain garden so excess water reaches the plants. Then, fill the garden with various moisture-tolerant plants.[17]
Keep hardy plants in the high-moisture areas, usually at the lowest points of the garden. Some options include goldenrod, elderberry, swamp rose, and blue vervain.
Place less moisture-tolerant plants in the other parts of the garden. Try using sage, daylilies, and lavender, among others.
Since changing a yard’s grade can get expensive, gardens are usually paired with systems like plastic drainage pipes or rock channels. Look into installing a French drain or swale.[Edit]Tips
When draining your yard, make sure you don’t direct water to your neighbor’s property unless you’re prepared to deal with the consequences. Drain it safely into a storm drain or downhill spot.
If you live near a hill, look out for water coming down the slope. A valley or drainage outlet at the bottom of the hill can help direct water away from your home.
Gravel is great for making soil more resistant to water, but keep in mind that it doesn’t break down as fast as organic material like compost. It is better for filling in areas where you never want water, such as near your home.
Extending the drain spout can help direct water further away from your home. Send the water toward a drainage outlet or an absorbent part of your yard.[Edit]Warnings
Before doing any sort of construction or installation on your property, check your city’s regulations. You may need to apply for a building permit at city hall.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
[Edit]Finding the Cause of Moisture Damage
Mason jar
Water
Aerator[Edit]Fixing Small Patches of Moisture
Spade or shovel
Topsoil
Sand
Compost
Rake
Tamper
Grass or other absorbent plants[Edit]Eliminating Widespread Moisture Problems
Spade or shovel
Rototiller
Compost
Landscape paper
French drain pipe (optional)
Dry well (optional)
Cistern (optional)
Rain garden plants (optional)[Edit]References↑ https://www.familyhandyman.com/landscaping/how-to-achieve-better-yard-drainage/

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-wet-yard

↑ https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/soil-texture-analysis-the-jar-test/

↑ http://southernlivingplants.com/plant-care/article/testing-soil-composition

↑ https://www.thelawninstitute.org/pages/education/for-homeowners/advanced-lawn-care/aeration/

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-wet-yard

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-wet-yard

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-wet-yard

↑ https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-level-a-yard/

↑ https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-level-a-yard/

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-wet-yard

↑ https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/coping-with-a-swampy-garden/2016/02/01/a855b830-c5f3-11e5-a4aa-f25866ba0dc6_story.html

↑ https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/drainage-problem-control-runoff

↑ https://www.bobvila.com/articles/french-drains/

↑ https://www.bobvila.com/articles/dry-wells-101/

↑ http://theraincatcherinc.com/cisterns-for-rainwater-storage/

↑ https://www.familyhandyman.com/garden/how-to-build-a-rain-garden-in-your-yard/

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