This is Germany’s second largest beer festival – and its most authentic.
2019 Cannstatter Volksfest will begin on Friday, 27 September and ends on Sunday, 13 October
Known locally as the Cannstatter Wasen, this 17-day festival may be less well-known than the Munich Octoberfest, but it is definitely more authentic. In late September/mid-October, the lord mayor taps a barrel to kick off the 200-year-old ritual. The Volksfest begins one week later than the Oktoberfest.
Sitting elbow to elbow with locals in vast tents, you can expect tradition all the way, from oompah bands and folk costumes to sauerkraut, crispy pork knuckles and Stein after Stein of the specially-brewed festival beer (Festbier).
There are many attractions at the festival as well:
- Fruit column – a wooden pillar decorated with fruit, 85 feet tall and weighing 3.5 tons.
- Amusement rides – usually including: 195 ft ferris wheel, Alpina roller coaster, Free fall Powertower, Wild water coaster, Transformer carousel, among others
- Beer tents – seven large beer tents; they either have their own name or carry the name of the brewery
- French Village (now called Alpine Village) – 33 food stands offering French meals and beverages along with traditional French music
- Parade – usually on the first Sunday
- Fireworks – German Reunification is marked every year on 3 October
- Agriculture exhibition – Every three years an agricultural exhibition is included in the main celebration.
The food stands and attractions are open between Monday and Friday from noon (beer tents from 11 am). Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays everything opens at 11am. Closing hours are 11pm Sunday through Thursday; 11.30pm Friday, Saturday, and the day before Bank Holidays (although music is stopped at 11pm).
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