Kaiserslautern swings during Barbarossa fest

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“Swinging Lautern” will be the motto of Kaiserslautern’s annual Barbarossa fest, which takes place Thursday to Sept. 3.

For the ninth year, the City of Kaiserslautern will sponsor the event in cooperation with local stores and businesses, which are members of the “Kaiser in Lautern” sales promotion agency.

“Our international music program consisting of swing, blues, boogie, jazz, soul and salsa combined with a nice atmosphere will offer many hours of good entertainment,” said Volker Stephan, chairman of “Kaiser in Lautern.”

The fest will feature live performances on open-air stages at Altenhof, Schillerplatz, Stiftsplatz and in front of Stiftskirche.

“Also, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, attractions and food in the center of town,” Stephan said.

After Femmes du Sax, a saxophone quartet from Mannheim, has presented its show with jazz, pop and comical elements, Lord Mayor Dr. Klaus Weichel and Stephan will officially open Barbarossa fest at 6 p.m. Thursday at the stage in front of Stiftskirche. The Siberian Dixieland Jazzband will then entertain the audience with music from New Orleans.

Other bands performing during the opening day are Brassmachine at Schillerplatz; Hot Four at Altenhof, and the Wild Boogie Connection and Yannik Monot & Helt Oncale Duo at Stiftsplatz.

Musical performances by various bands such as Funkyfize, From Da Soul and Blueshimmel will continue at 1 p.m. Sept. 2. The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band Check Six will play from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of Stiftskirche, and Men in Blue, the Rheinland-Pfalz police brass band, will march through the pedestrian zone from 2 to 5 p.m.

“Swinging Lautern” will present the USAFE Band Wings of Dixie from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 3 at the stage at Altenhof. Several music groups and marching bands will keep performing until 11 p.m. at all stages and in the streets.

A kiddie train will give children free rides through the center. The train stops can be found in Riesenstrasse (Heil’s men wear) Thursday, Marktstrasse (Pallmannstore) Sept. 2,  and Riesenstrasse (Erika leather store) Sept. 3.  A balloon artist will create figures with balloons from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Riesenstrasse, and a jumping castle and face painting will lure children to Fackelstrasse. The Siegelbach zoo will set up a petting zoo in Unionstrasse Thursday and Sept. 2. A fairy tale merry-go-round will be available in Marktstrasse.

Stores will provide special attractions, including a fashion show, cooking demonstrations, a book market, vehicle display, information stands, and food and wine tasting.

Visitors can taste all kinds of culinary food specialties from different countries in white pagoda tents around Stiftskirche and at food stands set up on Schillerplatz and Altenhof.

“A novelty this year are the buttons created by the sales promotion agency for Barbarossa fest,” said Alexander Hess, manager of “Kaiser in Lautern” and chief of the project office for city events. “Everybody buying the button for €2 will show his or her sympathy for this event.”

The buttons will be available at stands in the fest area and from mobile selling teams.

A pocket brochure listing the entertainment program is available at the Kaiserslautern Tourist Information office, Fruchthallstrasse, in stores and restaurants, or at www.kaiserslautern.de or www.werbegemeinschaft-kl.de.