Fest offers fun, Sunday shopping, model trains

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The Ramstein-Miesenbach Advertising Association sponsors the annual “Wendelinusmarkt” Saturday and Sunday in the center of town. The market features special activities, a car show, flea market, bungee trampoline and musical entertainment. Traditionally, stores are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Mayor Klaus Layes officially opens Wendelinusmarkt by tapping the first keg of beer at 11 a.m. Saturday in front of the museum. About 100 vendors will offer a variety of merchandise and international culinary specialties.
Sunday activities start with “Frühschoppen,” an early morning beer get-together, at 11 a.m. The Vanecek Twintett and Marching Band provide musical entertainment.

The origin of Wendelinus market dates back to the 18th century when it was a church fest celebrated in honor of church patron Saint Wendelinus.
In the beginning of the 18th century when most village residents were farmers, an epidemic threatened Ramstein’s cattle. People started praying to Saint Wendelinus, the saint of plague, who was asked for help in case of contagious diseases.

Citizens promised to celebrate the day of Saint Wendelinus each year if the epidemic would end.

The first celebration was on a Monday in 1710. People didn’t want to work that day and schools were closed. Relatives living outside of Ramstein came to visit, went to confession and listened to the fest sermon conducted by several priests from three altars, without interruption.

Afterwards, people stopped at the chestnut carnival in front of the church, where rosaries, crucifixes, prayer books, candles and chestnuts were sold. Years ago, the 12-hour prayer was moved to Sunday, and the local Catholic holiday lost its importance.

The event also features the annual model train swap meet sponsored by the Model Train Friends Westpfalz 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Haus des Bürgers in Ramstein-Miesenbach Sunday.

More than 50 exhibitors from throughout Germany and neighboring countries present everything dealing with model trains and accessories. There will be locomotives, carriages, tracks, signals, houses, lamps, bridges and spare parts.

“Our model train swap meet is the biggest of its kind in southwest Germany,” said organizer Manfred Küster. “We don’t want it to be just a swap meet, we also want to display special pieces.”

Another attraction that lures many visitors each year is the miniature carnival set-up by Rolf and Ruth Dindorf. Again like last year, the Mannheim Model Car Club shows off a race track, where children can test their driving skills.
The Italian restaurant in the Haus des Bürgers sponsors a model train café, where visitors can take a break.

Model train friends can get advice and find special offers. There is a special test track, where the newly bought stuff can be tested right away.