ANSBACH, Germany (May 11, 2016) – “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout Middle, Lower and Upper Franconia.
Bergkirchweih in Erlangen
Known to anybody in and around Erlangen as “Der Berg,” the Bergkirchweih attracts about a million visitors each year. The site of the fest is located by the storage cellars of the old beer breweries; tables and benches are sitting in the shade of large chestnut trees, while rides keep the visitors busy. It is going on now through May 23 along Bergstrasse. Public transportation is recommended, as parking nearby is almost impossible. To learn more, visit Bergkirchweih
New Kinderzoo in Dürrwangen
A new Kinderzoo with circus animals opened last weekend in Dürrwangen-Haslach (Kreuzfeld 21). The animals – ponies, donkeys, horses, goats, camels and more – are usually touring the region with a small circus ensemble, but are staying on the farm for the summer. Contrary to normal zoo animals, these are kept entertained and challenged with games and training to avoid boredom. The zoo offers rides on elephants and ponies, carriage rides through the forest, a kiddie train, a water basin with row boats and an outdoor playground. It is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during German school breaks (May 14-29 and July 30-Sept. 4) and on the weekends until Sept. 4. To learn more, visit Kinderzoo
Medieval Festival in Hilpoltstein
A medieval fest takes place in the Hilpoltstein castle (Maria-Dorothea-Straße 8) May 20 through 22. The three day fest features knights, bards, fire artists, jugglers, story tellers and medieval music. Visitors can experience knight tournaments, sword fights, medieval camps and markets. The fest is open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit Mittelalterfest
Fränkisches Bierfest – Nürnberg
The city of Nürnberg and its historical family breweries are hosting the Franconian Beer Fest in the castle moat underneath the Kaiserburg (Auf der Burg 13) May 25 through 29. Visitors can sample more than 100 different kinds of beer in the romantic setting of the moat, as well as try some of the many Franconian food specialties offered. Live music entertainment, information booths and a children’s program make sure the whole family can have fun. The fest area can be reached via Hallertor, Tiergärtnertor or Maxtor. Opening hours are Wednesday, 5 – 11 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 2:30 – 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. To learn more about the festival, visit Bierfest Franken
Ansbach’s downtown area turns into festival grounds for the popular Altstadtfest on May 25 through 29; tables and benches are set-up along the streets, live bands play, many different kinds of food and beverages are offered, and children have their own entertainment. The Museumshof behind St. Johannis church becomes a stage for puppet shows, song writers and theater performances, every day after 3 p.m. Families can expect mixed entertainment on the Reitbahn, while a children’s flea market is planned for Saturday on Pfarrstrasse (starts at 8 a.m.). Sunday features an open store day with shops open to the customers in the afternoon from 1 – 6 p.m. For more program details check with the Ansbach Tourist Office AKuT on Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Platz 1 or go to Altstadtfest Ansbach
German holiday on May 26
May 26 marks a German holiday, Fronleichnam or Corpus Christi. It is often celebrated with a church procession through town. As usual, stores and businesses off-post are closed and “quiet laws” apply (no loud noise, lawn-mowing etc.). Since Fronleichnam always falls on a Thursday, Germans like to take Friday off work and thus create an extended four-day weekend. Many communities plan special events and festivities for this time period.
Pfingstferien – School break in Bavaria
The German children are going on school break from May 14 through 29; this is a popular vacation time and many travelers can be expected to flood the airports and Autobahns. Heavy car traveling days are expected especially for the weekends, and May 26 and 27, as Thursday is a German holiday and people use the long weekend for quick trips.
Volksmarch Hiking Days
Volksmarches or “Internationale Wandertage” are a form of non-competitive physical fitness training, which takes the participants through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany. The walking distance varies from 5 to 10 or 20 kilometer routes on scenic trails through forests, along rivers and lakes or around historic sites. There is no set start time, but a window of time for hikers to start the route, and finish it at their own pace. Trails are typically marked well along the way. Many trails are stroller-friendly and provide great opportunity to explore the countryside. After the walk the local hiking clubs usually offer food and drink in a hall or tent, sometimes even at a half-way point. Avid hikers can get a hiking passport stamped each place they participate, and many clubs reward their visitors with a small token.
* May 21 and 22 in Wiebelsheim-Bad Windsheim: Distances are 6 and 12 kilometers. The event starts at Halle Kraus, Wiebelsheim, 91438 Bad Windsheim, at 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon on Sunday. To learn more, visit Volksmarch Wiebelsheim