Festival revives old craftsmanship

by Petra Lessoing
Ramstein Public Affairs

The Kaiserslautern forestry office and the villages of Hochspeyer, Frankenstein and Waldleiningen sponsor, in cooperation with local associations, the eighth “Triftfest,”  or drifting fest, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Biedenbacher Woog (pond) in the Leinbach Valley.

At the festival, families with children, senior citizens, equestrians, hikers and bicyclists can experience how the drifting of timber worked in former times. Drifting timber is the transportation of wood on the water.

Three times throughout the day, demonstrations will show how the wood was transported on creeks through the Leinbach Valley. So-called drifting menials will let the rafters’ craftsmanship revive and give historical explanations of the cultural background. Show driftings will take place at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m.

In between, waggoners from the region will give a crack of their whips to entertain the audience.

Children can test their wood carving skills and participate in a duck race. There will also be a possibility to climb up trees and learn about the forest. A bee-keeper will also present a display case.

Members of local associations will serve grilled game specialties, Palatinate food, beverages, coffee and cake.

The Biedenbacher Woog is located between Frankenstein and Waldleiningen. Visitors can get there by foot, bicycle, on horse or in carriages. They can also park their vehicles at the Frankenstein train station or the Waldleiningen sewage plant (Kläranlage) and enter a shuttle bus. Transportation fee is €1 for adults and €.50 for children.

It is not possible to drive in privately owned vehicles to the fest area.

For more information and directions, visit  www.hochspeyer.de, click on “News,” then on “Triftfest-Flyer” and “Triftfest-Karte.”