Those who missed this year’s July 4 fireworks still have a chance to watch colorful rockets light up the night during the “Flammende Sterne” (Flaming Stars) firework festival.
This year’s annual event will run from Aug. 19-21 at the former garden fair grounds at Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern. The festival is open Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight.
This year, pyrotechnicians from China, Greece and the U.S. will participate in the firework competition. Firework displays, set to music, run from 10-10:30 p.m. nightly.
Nano Fireworks is Greece’s oldest firework company, and its pyrotechnicians are expected to have a spectacular choreography set up for the Greek music firework on Aug. 19, according to the festival’s promotional brochure.
Firework artists from China will take over the skies of Ostfildern on Aug. 20. The Chinese firework designers opened the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
Brad Cicotti, chief pyrotechnician of Disney Parks Entertainment, will be representing the U.S. with a display on Aug. 21. Cicotti normally is in charge of designing special effects for fireworks in Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida.
“It’s the first time that Brad Cicotti is performing at a firework festival outside of Disneyland and Walt Disney World,” said Elke Cosmo, spokesperson for the Event-und Festivalmanagement Company. “This will be the highlight of Flammende Sterne in 2011.”
A jury of pyrotechnical experts and firework enthusiasts will choose the winner of this year’s firework festival, according to Cosmo. The award ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 21 at 11:15 p.m.
Breathtaking fireworks choreographed to music will transform Scharnhauser Park into an ocean of light and sound during all three days of the festival, Cosmo said.
She recommended that visitors bring blankets and camping chairs to sit on the lawn and enjoy the show.
Besides fireworks, the festival includes a variety and souvenir market, performances by fire-breathers and acrobats, and a “Ballonglühen,” during which illuminated hot air balloons will rise into the evening sky. Visitors can book a balloon ride on all three days of the festival.
Aug. 21 has been set aside as “Marktkauf Family Day” and will offer free hands-on activities, arts and crafts, trampoline jumping and face painting for children from 4-9 p.m.
The festival also offers a variety of food and entertainment representing the participating countries in the firework contest, according to Cosmo.
The Greek music group “Omega” will entertain the crowds on Aug. 19 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. with classical Greek folk music and the famous “Sirtaki” dance.
On Aug. 20, patrons will be entertained by Kung Fu and various Chinese martial art shows.
American-style entertainment will include the MaxFracas rock band, which will play classic rock tunes Aug. 21 from 6 p.m. until midnight. The cheerleading team “Red Poison” and the Sun Line Dancers will also perform throughout the evening beginning at 6 p.m.
“The Flammende Sterne festival is one of the most beautiful firework festivals in Germany,” Cosmo said. “We offer an exciting program for the entire family to enjoy.
“Flammende Sterne is simply a feel-good event.”
Tickets cost €10 when purchased in advance and €13 at the event. Family tickets (two adults and two children 11 years old and younger) cost €29. Three-day tickets cost €26. To purchase tickets, call 0800-2711711, or visit www.cs-kartenservice.de. Tickets are also for sale in local Marktkauf grocery stores and tourist information bureaus.
To book a balloon ride, call 07128-1724 or by visiting www.bsg-sonnenbuehl.de.
For more information about Flammende Sterne, visit www.flammende-sterne.de.