Oh, the sights and smells of autumn. The changing leaves. The cool crisp air. In Munich, Germany, these would be signs that Oktoberfest was sneaking up, not that the world's largest festival, a two-week kegger, is too easy to miss.

The Square's version of Oktoberfest, one of many riffs on the original held around the world, is sedate in comparison. Cantabridgians have celebrated the German beer festival for over 30 years, and today, Oktoberfest festivities commandeered much of the Square with brass bands from across the country, local jewelry makers, and the omnipresent scent of deep-fried mystery food wafting through the air.

Find out more about Oktoberfest's myriad attractions, wonderful and wacky, after the jump.

When this FlyBy correspondent joined locals enjoying what might be the last warm afternoon of the year, a sizable crowd had already gathered to be serenaded by the bold tuba and trumpet tunes of Seattle's Yellow Hat Band. And who might they be, we ask? Said a bespectacled man preparing for his group's act (which included a pair of glittery hula hoops), why, they're the ones with the yellow hatbands, of course!

Of course. Everything makes sense now.

Moving through the blocked-off streets, the sound of the stage blended into the chattering of an outdoor market featuring over 50 food stalls and 200 vendors, according to the Harvard Square Business Association's website. The goods they stocked had a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain flavor of Cambridge inscrutability to them...but then again, Oktoberfest is Cambridge in all its eclectic glory. (Is this how the Square looked every day, 30 years ago?)

Maybe it's no beer-drenched bacchanalia, but that means there won't be any Bierleichen (beer corpses) to drag off the streets the next day. Barring a free ticket to Germany (which we'll take any day), Flyby hopes to see you here next year.

Photo Credit: Athena Jiang/The Crimson.