Carnival in Kaiserslautern opens today

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The biggest folk fest in the West Palatinate, the “Maikerwe” (May carnival) in Kaiserslautern, takes place May 14 to 24. The traditional event is set up on the Messeplatz fairgrounds.
More than 140 vendors offer a variety of rides, food specialties and merchandise on a total of 1.7 kilometers.
Carnival goers looking for some excitement should test “Turn Around,” a ride which catapults visitors into the galaxy onto an exploring journey accompanied by laser effects and explosions. A refreshing ride is “Octopussy” because it makes people go by a South Pacific background and water fountains.
Other rides are “Break Dance” and “Music Express.” The 50 meter tall Ferris wheel presents visitors a view over the city and the Pala-tinate Forest. Children can enjoy pony and special kids’ rides.
Hungry visitors can take a break in the beer garden or one of the many tents to taste crispy chicken, ham hocks, crepes, pizza and fish specialties. Palatinate and international culinary specialties are also available at the food booths.
Vendors who will have their booths and stands set up in the “shopping street” offer a variety of merchandise to include clothes, household items, leather goods, jewelry and spices.
Deputy Mayor Dr. Arne Oeckinghaus officially opens Maikerwe by tapping the first keg of beer at 6 p.m. today in the bistro tent. An opening fireworks display will be lit around 9 p.m.
Wednesday is family day with reduced prices and special offers until 7 p.m.
The carnival closes out with a fireworks display after darkness May 24.
Operating hours are 2 p.m. to midnight Monday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday. Some food booths will open at 11 a.m. daily.