Was ist los in Franken? Sept. 30, 2016

A festive parade is the highlight of any Kirchweih. (Photo: Fuerther-Kirchweih.de)

A festive parade is the highlight of any Kirchweih. (Photo: Fuerther-Kirchweih.de)

ANSBACH, Germany (Sept. 30, 2016) – “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout Middle, Lower and Upper Franconia.

Guided Ansbach City Tour in English – Oct. 1
Ansbach’s more than 1250 years of history have left many marks: gorgeous Baroque style facades and hidden Renaissance inner court yards, the former Margrave’s Royal Chapel, the crypt with its 25 sarcophagi and the Baroque Synagogue are just a few highlights that you will discover during the one-hour-guided city tour the tourist office offers on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 5 p.m.; meeting point is the horse sculpture “Anscavallo” on Schlossplatz (Promenade 27) downtown Ansbach. Cost per person is 6 euros; a preregistration at akut@ansbach.de or 0981-51-243 is preferred, but spontaneous participants are welcome as well.

Medieval Days in Bad Windsheim
The outdoor museum in Bad Windsheim is hosting “Mittelaltertage” – medieval days – on Oct. 1 – 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can watch old crafts and professions being revived and learn how people handled everyday life without the assistance of modern appliances. To learn more, visit Mittelaltertage

Potato Market in Röttenbach
The annual potato market in Röttenbach offers regional delicacies and potato dishes. The market is open Sunday, Oct. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Festplatz Röttenbach (Frankenstraße, 91187 Röttenbach).

Michaelis Kirchweih in Fürth
The Michaelis Kirchweih in Fürth on Oct. 1 to 12 is Bavaria’s largest street Kirchweih fest. Special event highlights include a street fun run and the harvest thanksgiving parade on Oct. 9. To learn more about the fest program and other details, visit Michaeliskirchweih.

Erntedank – October 2
The German thanksgiving, Erntedank Fest, has a long tradition; unlike in the U.S., the German harvest festival of thanks is not a big family holiday, but mostly a religious and rural celebration. Farmers and hobby gardeners bring samples of their harvest to church on Sunday, where the food is blessed.

Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving) in Gunzenhausen
Gunzenhausen is celebrating (German style) Thanksgiving Oct. 2 and 3 at the Seezentrum Gunzenhausen-Wald, at 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  More than 50 vendors offer wood crafts and decoration, jewelry, arts and crafts, candles, scents and more;  there will be entertainment for the whole family with music and performances by different groups, like Alphorn players (Monday afternoon), petting zoo and more. Home-baked bread, Bratwurst, smoked fish, honey and other regional products make sure visitors don’t go hungry. A shuttle service transports guests to and from the fest arena and parking lot.  For more information go to Erntedank Gunzenhausen

Open House at the Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Ansbach
The mini zoo for rescued tigers and other exotic animals in Ansbach-Wallersdorf is hosting their monthly open house on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 1 to 5 p.m. Guided tours take place every full hour. Visitors will be well taken care of with beverages and food. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. To learn more, visit Open House

Tag der deutschen Einheit – German Holiday, October 3
The Day of German Unity (Tag der deutschen Einheit) on Oct. 3 is a nation-wide holiday in Germany. It is the national day of the Federal Republic of Germany, commemorating the anniversary of German reunification in 1990, when the hopes for a united Germany were finally fulfilled after decades of separation. Every year a different city hosts the national celebration. As usual, all stores and businesses will be closed for the day; many communities celebrate with a local ceremony.

Antiques Market in Bamberg
A market for antiques only takes place in Bamberg at the Maxplatz on Oct 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, visit Antikmarkt Bamberg

Fall Market in Nürnberg
The Nürnberg “Herbstmarkt” takes place on the main market place (Hauptmarkt) downtown through Oct. 3; vendors sell household goods, pottery, clothes and arts and crafts. Opening hours are daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more, visit Herbstmarkt.

Mercato dei Sapori in Nürnberg
A “market of flavors” – Mercato dei Sapori – takes place downtown Nürnberg at the Fleischbrücke (near Hauptmarkt) Oct. 6 through 22, offering Italian food and wine specialties.

Pumpkin Festival in Ludwigsburg
The annual pumpkin festival on Ludwigsburg’s castle grounds (Marbacher Strasse 10, 71640 Ludwigsburg, Germany) is now open until November 6. Visitors can expect spectacular works of art created from 450 000 pumpkins and gourds, or admire more than 500 variations of the vegetable. Culinary delights like pumpkin soup, burgers or strudel can be tried on site. For more details, visit Pumpkin Festival or Kürbisausstellung

Last Weekend at Oktoberfest in Munich
The Oktoberfest in Munich – the original Oktoberfest – is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world’s largest fair with more than 6 million people from around the world attending every year. It started out as a royal wedding celebration in October 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen; the fields, where the celebration took place, were named Theresienwiese (“Therese’s Meadow”) in honor of the crown princess.

The Oktoberfest, also known as the “Wies’n,” takes place on Munich’s Theresienwiese until Oct. 3. The midway is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (30 minutes longer on the weekends); the beer tents have the same opening hours, but the last beer will be served an hour before closure. Official family days with reduced prices are Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. Since there is no parking anywhere close to the location, visitors are encouraged to come to town by train or take advantage of the park & ride system and leave their vehicle at a public transportation stop outside of the city, using the subway (U-Bahn) to get there.

*Security concept: The security concept of the Oktoberfest is based on decades of experience and constantly reviewed. New this year will be a “security fence” along open stretches as well as a ban of back packs and larger bags; smaller bags are subject to search. Strollers are only allowed on weekdays until 6 p.m.; completely forbidden are items like glass bottles, gas spray cans or knives. On the busier days, like the weekends, visitors are advised to refrain from bringing small children. For more information about the Oktoberfest go to www.oktoberfest.de/en.

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.

* October 1 and 2 in Tiefenbach (near Crailsheim): Hiking distances are 5, 10 and 21 kilometers; includes a family hike with special tasks and games for children (hands-on skill games, soccer ball shooting, leaves collecting, playground along the hike, etc.). Starts at Turn- u. Festhalle, Steinbachstr., 74564 Crailsheim-Tiefenbach, at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for (for 5 and 10 km) or 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for 21 km on Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

* October 14 in Rothenburg: Guided Day Tour “Panoramaweg Rothenburg” with distances of 6 and 11 kilometers. Start is 2 p.m. at Sporthalle, Erlbacher Straße 5, 91541 Rothenburg o.d. Tauber. To learn more, visit Day Hike Rothenburg

* October 15 and 16 in Neunkirchen am Brand: Wandertag distances are 5, 10 and 20 kilometers. Starts at 7 a.m. to noon at Schule, Schellenberger Weg 26, 91077 Neunkirchen am Brand. To learn more, visit Volksmarch Neunkirchen.

* October 15 and 16 in Grafenwöhr: Hiking distances are 5 and 10 kilometers; starts at 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 7 – 11 a.m.  on Sunday at Katholisches Jugendheim, Kolpingstr, 92655 Grafenwöhr.

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