Kaiserslautern’s traditional “Oktoberkerwe,” or October carnival, will take place today through Oct. 26. More than 140 rides and vendors will offer their attractions and merchandise at the Messeplatz fairgrounds.
The amusement park will open at 5 p.m. with the tapping of the first keg as the official start of the carnival at 7 p.m. today in the big fest tent. When it’s dark, around 9 p.m., a fireworks display will signal the start of the 11-day event.
Oktoberkerwe will offer a variety of rides for adults and children. After a fast ride through the green hell on the “Dschungel-Train,” or jungle train, carnival-goers with strong nerves can get a special hospital treatment in the “Horror Lazarett.” Visitors can experience the “Black Hole,” a unique rollercoaster that takes them on a 1,378-feet-long ride in total darkness. “Apres Ski Party” is a turning glass labyrinth providing surprises. “Breakdance” and “Musik Express” will offer speed and sound.
The giant Ferris wheel called “Europa-Rad,” the token of each folks fest, will offer a nice view from 30 feet high.
Children can have fun with skills games, pony rides, mini scooters and merry-go-rounds. The skills booths will offer archery, fishing and throwing cans.
Beer gardens, bistros and various tents will lure hungry and thirsty visitors. Palatinate and international culinary specialties will be sold at the food booths.
The shopping street will take visitors on a shopping trip where they can buy a variety of merchandise including jewelry, clothes, curtains, household items, leather goods, spices, and arts and crafts items through late in the evening.
Family day with reduced prices and special offers will continue until 7 p.m. on Wednesday. A balloon artist will show off his skills, and a free puppet theater will take place in the fest tent.
To close out the event, the ride owners and vendors will say “thank you” to their customers with a colorful fireworks display around 9 p.m. Oct. 26.
Rides will be open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day, and until midnight today, Saturday and Oct. 24. Some food booths and vendors will start selling their specialties and merchandise at 11 a.m. each day.
Traditionally, on the first Sunday during Oktoberkerwe stores will be open. Sunday shopping will be possible from 1 to 6 p.m. in the stores in the center of town and in the industrial parks. Parking downtown will be free.