Kaiserslautern’s traditional “Oktoberkerwe,” or October carnival, will take place Oct. 19 to 29. More than 140 ride owners and vendors will offer their attractions and merchandise at Messeplatz fairgrounds.
City representatives will officially open the event by tapping the first keg of beer at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 in the big fest tent. When it’s dark, around 9 p.m., fireworks will be lit to signal the start of the 11-day event.
The history of carnivals in Kaiserslautern dates back to March 1571, when Emperor Maximilian II granted the town of Kaiserslautern the right to hold two cattle markets each year. For this event, traveling people came to town, and the traditional “Kerwe,” or carnival, which nowadays is held in May and October, started to develop. Since World War II, the “Lautrer Kerwe” with about 200,000 visitors today, has the reputation of being the biggest folks fest in the Westpfalz.
Oktoberkerwe will offer a variety of rides for adults and children. A novelty will be a ride called “The King.” It offers 360 degree turns in three directions in a height of 27 meters. The mobile rollercoaster “Black Hole” is unique in Europe since visitors experience a 420-meter long ride in total darkness. Also available will be the biggest transportable Haunted Mansion. “Down Under” will take people on a trip in the crazy outback on two levels. Visitors of “Crazy Town” will have to find their way in this crazy labyrinth. The 50-meter long Bavarian ride will offer Fun for children and adults. “Breakdance” and “Musik Express” will provide speed and sound.
The giant Ferris wheel, the token of each folks fest, will offer a nice view from a height of 40 meters. Children can have fun with skills games and taking rides on ponies, in miniscooters and merry-go-rounds. The skills booths will offer archery, fishing or throwing cans. Beer gardens, bistros and various tents will lure hungry and thirsty visitors. Palatinate and international culinary specialties will be sold at the food booths.
The “shopping street” will take visitors on a shopping trip. Until late at night they can buy a variety of merchandise, including jewelry, clothes, curtains, household items, leather goods, spices, arts and crafts items.
Family day with reduced prices and special offers until 7 p.m. is scheduled for Oct. 24.
The ride owners and vendors want to say Thank You to their customers with a colorful fireworks display around 9 p.m. Oct. 29 to close out the event.
The rides will be open 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day, and until midnight Oct. 19 and Saturdays. Some food booths and vendors will start selling their specialties and merchandise at 11 a.m. each day.
Traditionally, Sunday shopping will be offered in the city of Kaiserslautern during Oktoberkerwe. The stores in Kaiserslautern will be open 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 21.