Wine harvest fest lures with carnival, parade

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image2***Neustadt along the German Wine Street celebrates the highlight of the
German wine fest season with its annual German Wine Harvest Fest today
through Oct. 10.

The German Wine Harvest Fest is considered as the vintners’
Thanksgiving. For more than 50 years, regional vintners celebrate the
event after their work for the old season is done, and the new season
with new wines will start.

The event is well-known for the little reconstructed wine village set
up across from the Neustadt train station. It is made of little
framework houses called “Haiselscher,” (Palatinate dialect meaning
little houses) and booths, where local wines and food specialties are

A typical season specialty offered is “Zwiebelkuchen,” onion cake. It
is similar to Quiche Lorraine and customarily it is served with
“Federweisser,” the first new wine for that year. Federweisser has a
cloudy color and tastes more like grape juice than wine, containing
less alcohol. It is still fermenting and after a few weeks loses its

Next to the Haiselscher there will be a stage where festivities will
start with a 1980s party and the presentation of the five candidates
nominated for Palatinate Queen at 6 p.m. today.

***image1***A carnival with rides and a fest tent will be set up near the wine village.
Neustadt’s Hetzelplatz will turn into a giant wine probe location at 7
p.m. Thursday. The “German Wine and Campagne Meeting Point” made of
little pavilions will lure visitors who want to sample wines from the
nine wine villages belonging to Neustadt and from all other
wine-growing regions in Germany.

Highlight of the wine harvest fest is the vintners’ parade with more
than 40 decorated floats, bands, walking groups, costume groups and the
Palatinate and German wine queens at 2 p.m. Oct. 9. The event will
close out with a fireworks display 9:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

The German railroad company, Deutsche Bahn, offers trains going from
Kaiserslautern to Neustadt every 30 minutes, starting at 9:28 a.m. to
12:28 p.m. Trains taking visitors from Neustadt back to Kaiserslautern
will depart between 3:32 and 9:32 p.m. every half hour. Tickets cost €8
per person. Tickets for groups of one to 5 persons are available for
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