Grand opening ceremony of the Qingdao beer festival.
Qingdao Beer Festival
The froth, the fizz, the chink of glasses and the unmistakable aroma of beer. It must be the annual Qingdao International Beer Festival, which started in 2004.
The revelry reaches its climax in the second weekend of August when millions of visitors and locals flock to get a heady brew. The 16-day event at Beer City, in Laoshan district in Qingdao, is the largest beer festival in Asia and the most influential in China.
Ample froth spills from glasses, an inebriating malt aroma fills the air, the rattle of rock music can be heard and people from all over the world guzzle beer by the gallon.
The event transcends class, color, gender, profession and age and is a melting pot of people brought together through a common love and language of beer.
The festival's opening ceremony is usually followed by a parade of floats, marching bands, dancers and last year even included a Harley Davidson bikers' motorcade.
Other activities include a drinking competition, trade shows, cultural and gourmet food stands, performances at more than a dozen beer tents and a closing ceremony party.
The festival has extended its territory from Beer City to every corner of the city, including the suburbs and four county level cities.
In 2013, a total of 4 million visitors joined the festival and drank 1,200 tons of beer, which made a direct contribution of 3.83 billion yuan ($612 million) to the local economy.