Kaiserslautern May carnival starts today

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

Kaiserslautern holds its traditional “Maikerwe,” or May carnival, today through May 21 on the Messeplatz fairgrounds.

***image1***More than 130 ride owners and vendors are available for 11 days to offer their attractions, merchandise and food specialties.

Deputy Mayor Dr. Arne Oeckinghaus officially opens the event with tapping the first keg of beer at 6 p.m. today on the patio of the bistro tent. As soon as it gets dark, fireworks will be lit.

The carnival offers a variety of rides for adults and children. Visitors who like the thrill and loopings should take a ride on the “Airwolf” or “Shake.” Turning, swinging and flying is offered on “Drive” and “Break Dance.” The giant Ferris wheel “Collosos” offers visitors a fascinating view over Kaiserslautern. “The Magic House,” “Ghost Temple” and “Psycho” give people the creeps.

Children can have fun with skills games and taking rides in miniscooters and merry-go-rounds. Children older than 3 can enjoy rides in “Looping the Loop,” “Black Hole,” and “Musik Express.”

Carnival-goers can test their strength in a boxing booth and their aiming accuracy while shooting. The skills booths offer archery, fishing or throwing cans.

Beer gardens, the chicken tent, and the bistro and wine tent lure hungry and thirsty visitors. Palatinate and international culinary specialties such as crispy chicken, ham hocks, crêpes, pizza and fish are also available at the food booths.

The “shopping street” provides shopping fun by vendors presenting a variety of merchandise including clothes, household items, leather goods, jewelry, spices, arts and crafts items.

***image2***Wednesday is family day with reduced prices and special offers until 7 p.m.
American carnival-goers can enjoy a “Today Dollar Day” May 18.

“American customers can pay in their own currency and most ride owners are willing to trade one-to- one,” said Wilhelm Henn, chief of the Exhibitors’ Association Barbarossa Saar Pfalz. “Those who participate have a ‘Today Dollar-Day’ sign at their door,” he added.

The carnival closes out with a “Thank you” fireworks display after dark May 21.

The rides are open 2 p.m. to midnight each day, and until 1 a.m. Saturdays. Some food booths and vendors open at 11 a.m. daily.