Medieval town celebrates summer fest

by Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1******image2***Kirchheimbolanden celebrates its annual summer fest, called “Residenzfest,” residence fest, the second weekend in August. For the 54th time, the fest which also is known as “Three summer days in the little residence,” takes place Saturday through Monday.
Kirchheimbolanden is called “the little residence,” because it was the residence of the princes of Nassau-Weilburg for about 400 years. In 1368, it received town rights, and the town wall with town gates and towers were built. The palace, palace garden, ball house, orangery, court church and Baroque houses were built in the 18th century. These buildings reflect the character of the town.
The “Long Night of Museums” unofficially starts the fest at 7 p.m. today. International arts exhibitions are displayed in Paulskirche, Volksbank, in the old town hall and the museum (Heimatmuseum).
Mayor Klaus Hartmüller, the Palatinate Wine Queen and other wine majesties officially open Residenzfest at 5 p.m. Saturday on Römerplatz.
The first activity which takes place each year is the run for children starting at 5:45 p.m. followed by the run for adults at 6 p.m.
In back yards, arcades and around the towers, local clubs and wine-growers offer wines of the area, other beverages and international food specialties. Bands and jugglers provide entertainment in the center of town.
Sunday starts with a ballet matinée at 11:15 a.m. in the Schloss-garten (palace garden). Dancers from a local ballet school dance to melodies from classical music, hip hop and musicals.
Stores are open from 1 to 6 p.m. and present special offers.
A church concert is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Paulskirche.
The traditional glow-worm and lantern parade leading through the old part of town starts at 9 p.m.
Monday, vintners’ yards open around noon and lure visitors with food specialties.
The summer fest closes with a fireworks display at around 10:30 p.m.
Kirchheimbolanden is located north of Kaiserslautern, about 25 kilometers from Sembach on federal street B40.