Ramstein holds Wendelinus market, Oktoberfest

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Photo by Stefan LayesThe center of Ramstein-Miesenbach hosts vendors, exhibitors and musicians from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Photo by Stefan Layes
The center of Ramstein-Miesenbach hosts vendors, exhibitors and musicians from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The last weekend of the month in Ramstein-Miesenbach is always dedicated to “Wendelinusmarkt,” a market featuring vendors, exhibitors, music and food specialties. The market will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the center of town.

Wendelinus market will begin with a short memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday in the fest tent on Prometheusplatz. Visitors can bring their pets to have them blessed by the priest. After the traditional animal blessing, Mayor Stefan Layes and market chief Joe Felka will tap the first keg of beer.

“More than 80 exhibitors will present arts, crafts and other merchandise in the car-free center of town,” Felka said. “Additionally, all stores will open Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.”

A French market with more than 20 hosts will serve culinary specialties, such as pate, terrines, cremant, Champagne, crepes and tarte flambee. Accordion players will play typical French music.

Other food specialties include bratwurst, grilled ham, waffles, and Asian and Italian dishes.

“If the weather is good, we expect about 20,000 visitors on both days,” Felka said.

The history of Wendelinusmarkt dates back to the beginning of the 18th century when most village residents were farmers, and an epidemic threatened Ramstein’s cattle. People started praying to Saint Wendelinus, the saint of plague, who was asked for help in case of contagious diseases. They promised to celebrate the day of Saint Wendelinus each year if the epidemic would end.

The first celebration was on a Monday in 1710. People didn’t want to work that day, and schools were closed. Relatives living outside of Ramstein came to visit, went to confession and listened to the fest sermon conducted by several priests from three altars, for 12 hours, without interruption.

Afterward, people stopped at the chestnut carnival in front of the church, where rosaries, crucifixes, prayer books, candles and chestnuts were sold. Years ago, the 12-hour prayer was moved to Sunday, and the local Catholic holiday lost its importance.

Also included into Wendelinus market is the annual Oktoberfest, which will start with the party band Die Vagabunden at 8 p.m. today in the fest tent.

Tickets are still available by calling 06371-592-220 or online at www.oktoberfest-ramstein.de. Tickets for the Saturday show are sold out.

On Sunday, free live entertainment will continue with the party band Die Hofgassler and a Bavarian brass band from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ramstein poultry breeders will display hens, bantams and pigeons in the Reichswald sports gym next to Realschule from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The conference center, Haus des Bürgers, will turn into a mecca for model train enthusiasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.