Beer fest to lure thousands

by Petra Lessoing
Ramstein Public Affairs

Kirchheimbolanden will host its 12th Kerchemer Beer Week today through Sunday. “Kerchem” is local dialect and means Kirchheimbolanden.

The town has celebrated the event every other year since 1986 to honor the German brewing tradition and the strict brewing regulations, which emphasize the high quality and purity of German beer. This year, the festival takes place next to the county administration office (Kreisverwaltung) on the Herrengarten fest grounds.

“A diversified entertaining program will be offered,” said Klaus Hartmüller, Kircheimbolanden’s mayor. “Also, 18 breweries present more than 60 types of beer, which visitors can taste.”

Mayor Hartmüller, Beer King Fritz I and Hop Queen Katharina I will officially open the festival by tapping the first keg of beer at 7:30 p.m. today.

“The beer king and hop queen are official representatives of the event and attend activities on all three days,” said Timo Holstein, from the Kirchheimbolanden event and press office. “All activities offered and all the musical performances are free.”
The band Hie & Do will provide musical entertainment starting at 7 p.m. An “Over 30 Party” with renowned disc jockey Andy Clormann from radio station RPR 1 starts at 9 p.m. The regional band Snailshouse will take the audience on a musical time trip through the 1970s and 1980s playing songs by Abba, Frank Zappa and the Rolling Stones.

The group Dannenfelser Dorfmusik will entertain with fun music Saturday starting at 6 p.m. before the show band Entertainers play dance music and German tunes at 9 p.m.

A parade, which is considered the highlight of the festival, will lure thousands of visitors, Mayor Hartmüller said. Starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, more than 800 participants with floats and horses will venture through the city streets. The parade will end on the fest grounds. The group Ratz-Fatz-Gugga will play traditional gugge music before the beer and wine majesties make their appearance at 6 p.m. The party band Hie & Do will perform at 7 p.m. and close out the beer week.
“I’m looking forward to being able to welcome many American guests to this fest in our medieval town,” Mayor Hartmüller said.

Kirchheimbolanden is located north of Kaiserslautern, about 25 kilometers from Sembach on federal street B40.