October carnival opens doors today

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Kaiserslautern will hold its traditional “Oktoberkerwe,” or October
carnival, today through Oct. 24 at the Messeplatz fairgrounds. The
folks fest is the biggest of its kind in the Westpfalz area and offers
rides, vendors, food and candy booths on a 40,000 square meter area.

Deputy Mayor Dr. Arne Oeckinghaus will officially open the event by
tapping the first keg of beer at 6 p.m. today in front of the bistro

More than 140 carnies and vendors will be available. New rides such as
“Turbo Force” will catapult visitors up to 100 kilometers per hour
through the air. For the first time, the world’s fastest merry-go-round
will make a stop in Kaiserslautern. Well-known speedy rides are “Magic”
and “Break Dance.”

Visitors liking action should take a ride in the giant Ferris wheel
called “Fire and Ice.” Those liking the world of magic can visit the
“Magic House.” The haunted house “Fantasy Drive” will provide scary fun.

***image2***Children can enjoy a variety of rides and games. They can test driving
skills in the mini-scooters and fly through the world in a ride called
Fun for families will be crossbow shooting, fishing and can throwing.
Carnival goers can take a shopping tour on the little shopping street,
where vendors sell a variety of merchandise to include clothes,
curtains, jewelry, leather bags, household items and toys.

Oktoberkerwe also features beer gardens, bistros, tents, an “Eiscafé”
and numerous food stands offering culinary specialties. Smelling the
scent from the chicken tent entices people to try roasted chicken and
ham hocks.
Family day with reduced prices is scheduled for Wednesday.

For the first time, the event will present a Halloween and Dollar Day
Oct. 21. Surprises are waiting for every visitor dressed up in a

“Free drinks, free rides and loads of scary fun turn this day into a
highlight for the fair,”said Gerhard Klein, who is in charge of
organizing the October carnival. American citizens will be especially

“The U.S. currency will be accepted that day and the carnies are
willing to provide a 1-to-1 exchange rate,” said Mr. Klein. All
visitors dressed up in costumes may enjoy a free drink in the bistro

Owners of children’s rides will also participate in the special event
under the motto “pay once – ride twice.” Children will receive a free
chip with every paid chip. Furthermore, all children who bring along a
carved pumpkin with a scary face have the chance to win a “ramble

The “pumpkin artworks” have to be turned in at the bistro tent from 2
p.m. to 4 p.m.  Prices will be distributed at 4:30 p.m. and the
carvers of the most imaginative pumpkins will be awarded the ramble

The special Halloween Day offers will also be available to all carnival
goers who prefer to pay in dollars.  Rides and catering booths
will be using the 1-to-1 exchange Oct. 21, which means that one dollar
equals one euro.

October carnival also will allow shopping on a Sunday. Stores in
Kaiserslautern will be open    1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Fireworks displays  are scheduled for tonight and Oct. 24.
Daily hours are 2 to 11 p.m. On weekends, activities start at 1 p.m.
and Saturdays, the carnival is open until midnight. Some vendors and
food booths will open at 11 a.m. each day.