Volksfest

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A Volksfest ("peoples' festival" in German) is a large event in Germany which usually combines a beer festival or wine festival and a traveling carnival (or funfair). Attractions may include amusement rides, games of chance and skill, and food and merchandise vendors.

When there is a beer festival, it is common to build one or more beer tents (Festzelte), usually sponsored by a brewery, and set up beer gardens where it is possible to order traditional food and try the Festbier, or beer specially brewed for the season. A large beer tent will have hundreds of wooden benches with a seating capacity in the thousands and offer live music, being a favourite place for patrons to spend the evening. The well known Oktoberfest is a big Volksfest that occurs yearly in Munich.

Admission[edit]

Admission to a Volksfest and the beer tents is free however you have to pay for each ride or game separately. In contrast to traveling carnivals in the USA, each ride in a Volksfest is independently run so tickets for several rides are uncommon. Inside the beer tents there are usually tables that can be reserved, while the rest are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Duration and location[edit]

There is at least one Volksfest in many of the larger towns in Germany every year, each lasting from one to three weeks. In some towns there are two or more per year. A Volkfest is local in nature, attended mostly by people original from the hosting town and surrounding areas, but it may also attract international tourists. Sindelfingen is the only town to have given up its Volksfest.[citation needed]

A Volksfest takes place nearly at the same date every year. A number of these have a long tradition and feature a variety of events like parades in historical costumes or traditional shooting competitions. One of the oldest Volksfests in Germany is the Lullusfest in Bad Herfeld. A Volksfest usually takes place in a special location. Some of these sites are well known such as the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart and Theresienwiese in Munich; however there are some Volksfest events which take place partly in the streets of towns.

As the Volkfest is temporary in nature, most mechanical attractions, games and beer tents are assembled in the weeks or months prior to the start of the festival, and dismantled once it is over.

Clothing[edit]

Especially in Bavaria, it is common during the Volksfest for people to wear the Tracht, or traditional outfit, such as Lederhosen and white or chequered shirts for men, and the Dirndl for women.

Well known Volksfests[edit]

References[edit]