The Cranger Kirmes is a funfair in Germany, located in near the Rhine–Herne Canal in Crange (de) in the city of Herne. It is the biggest funfair in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the second biggest fair in Germany, only behind the Munich Oktoberfest. In 2008 there were 4.7 million visitors. At an area of only 110,000 square metres (1,200,000 sq ft) and 500 show businesses it is called the "most overcrowded fair of the world".
The fair is held annually for a period of 10 days from the first Friday in August. Visitor attractions include Ferris wheels, carousels, roller coasters, ghost trains, carnival games, food stalls, raffles and beer halls and gardens. On opening and closing day a fireworks show is presented.
The exact year of the first fair is unknown. During the 15th century a market to sell wild horses from the nearby riparian forests of the Emscher was established in Crange to be held around St Lawrence's Day, 10 August. Over the years, dancers, prestidigitators, jugglers, fortune tellers, magicians and carnies joined and gradually outnumbered the horse dealers. When industrialisation and mining in the Ruhr district led to a substantial population increase in the area, annual visitor numbers to the Cranger Kirmes grew to about 4 million now.
- Gabriele Heimeier (2008-08-11). "573. Cranger Kirmes stellt neuen Besucherrekord auf". Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. DerWesten.de. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "Kirmes: Wer hat wirklich das größte Volksfest?". Westdeutsche Zeitung. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "Die Geschichte der Cranger Kirmes" (German)
- "Historie: Die Cranger Kirmes – einst und heute" (German)