By Carola Meusel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
The cold winter months are almost over and spring isn’t far. Now is the time to venture out and visit places you’ve never been before, or rediscover a well-known favorite, such as Stuttgart’s annual “Frühlingsfest,” one of the largest spring fests in Europe. This year, Frühlingsfest will celebrate its 80th anniversary and runs from April 21 to May 13 at the Cannstatter Wasen fest grounds in Bad Cannstatt.
The festival offers rides such as wild water rafting, bumper cars, carousels, haunted houses, a Ferris wheel and roller coaster, as well as pony rides and merry-go-rounds for children, according to Jörg Klopfer from “in.Stuttgart,” the event organizer.
Adrenalin junkies may also enjoy thrill rides such as the bungee ball “Hot Shot,” “Alpinabahn” roller coaster and several other amusements designed to defy gravity, he said.
Besides the rides, the Frühlingsfest also features food ranging from hearty Swabian meals to Asian, Italian and Greek cuisine, along with festival goodies such as cotton candy, chocolate-covered fruit and candied almonds.
Children can partake in free face painting and sessions with balloon artists, while a variety market offers jewelry, leather wear and clothing, fine herbs, spices and tea.
Three beer tents — “Göckelesmaier,” “Grandl’s Hofbräu Zelt” and “Zum Wasenwirt” — will offer grilled chicken or “Göckele,” freshly brewed fest beer and live bands that will entertain the crowds with “Volksmusik,” or German folk music, party, country and rock tunes. Each tent also offers a beer garden, where visitors can enjoy food and drinks in the sun.
A reconstruction of a typical Bavarian-Austrian Alp village, the “Almhüttendorf,” is set up in the middle of the Cannstatter Wasen fest grounds. It is considered one of the festival’s main attractions. Here, visitors can find rustic booths offering “Schweinshaxe” (hambone) or a “Jause,” a snack consisting of bread, cold cuts, radishes and cottage cheese. This type of snack is normally served in huts throughout Bavaria and Austria, while people take breaks during hiking trips.
Since the Frühlingsfest is family-oriented, special family days are offered every Wednesday (April 25, May 2, and May 9) from noon until 11 p.m. with special events and discounted prices for families.
On May 13, the fest will conclude with a 15-minute fireworks show set to music at 9:30 p.m. People can catch a great view of the fireworks show at König-Karls-Brücke, or bridge, adjacent to the fest grounds.
“The Frühlingsfest is a fest for the entire family and always makes for a great start in to spring during its three week tenure,” Klopfer said.
Entrance to the fest is free. Backpacks and bags will be searched at the entrance, or when entering any beer rent. Note that visitors are not allowed to carry pocket and Swiss Army knives on the fest grounds/beer tents. These items will be confiscated during security checks conducted at the various entrances to the fest ground and prior to entering any beer tent. Fest-goers cannot bring any water bottles (plastic, glass, steel) to the fest grounds. Pets, expect service dogs, are not allowed on the fest grounds.
The fest and the accompanying variety market are open Monday through Thursday from 1-11 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to midnight, Saturday and prior to German federal holidays from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, Sunday and on German federal holidays from 11 a.m. to midnight.
For more information on the Stuttgart Frühlingsfest, visit here.
Reservations for tables in the beer tents are typically made months in advance. Without a reservation, a visitor may encounter long lines and wait times, and a possible rejection to enter a tent, especially during the weekends.
To see if reservations are still available, visit www.stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest.de, then go to the “Festzelte” tab on the left, select the respective beer tent by clicking on the image, proceed to the tent meister’s website and click on the “Reservierung” tab.
Plan ahead and keep safety in mind
Large events such as the Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest increase the risk for drinking and driving. If you visit the fest, ensure you have a plan for returning safely home afterward:
• Leave your vehicle at home. Take the shuttle buses offered by United Service Organizations Stuttgart and Family and MWR.
• Use a designated driver.
• Use public transportation or a taxi.
• Don’t leave your children unattended at any time.
• Always follow the safety instructions posted at the rides and/or instructions given by the operating personnel.
• If you are in doubt, ask before you take a ride.
Parking: All-day parking at the Cannstatter Wasen fest grounds cost €6.
Buy your ticket the smart way: If you are not going alone, purchase a group day ticket (GruppenTagesTicket) at any stop. It is valid for up to five people or for a parent with any number of children 17 years or younger. Prices vary based on selected travel zones: 1-2 zones: €12.30; 3-4 zones: €17.10; entire network €19.90. Fest-goers can also download the USAG Stuttgart mobile app to plan their trip and receive event and public transportation information.
Lost and Found
Forgot, or lost something while “festing?” The lost and found office (Fundbüro) is located behind the Wasen entrance on the right side at the in. Stuttgart administrative office. Patrons can also call civ. 0711-9005625. For more information, visit here.
Where to buy fest wear
• Königstraße 18, 70173 Stuttgart
• Wolfgang-Brumme-Alle 27, 71034 Böblingen
Krüger Dirndl City Store – Calwerstrasse 41, 70173 Stuttgart
Krüger Factory Outlet Store – Antoniusstrasse 21, 73249 Wernau
Angermaier – Eberhardstrasse 8, 70173 Stuttgart
Trachtenmode Breuninger Department Store – Marktstrasse 1-3, 70173 Stuttgart (shoppers using VAT forms will pay the full amount for their purchases at any cash register and must take their VAT form to the customer service center, 4th floor, to be reimbursed the tax)
Galeria Kaufhof Department Stores (shoppers using VAT forms can only pay at the “Hauptkasse,” or main cashier)
• Königstrasse 6, 70173 Stuttgart
• Eberhardstrasse 28, 70173 Stuttgart
• Badstrasse 8-12, 70372 Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt
C & A Department Stores
• Königstrasse 47, 70173 Stuttgart
• Milaneo Shopping Mall Mailänder Platz 7, 70173 Stuttgart
• CARRÉ Bad Cannstatt, Daimlerstrasse 65-75, 70372 Stuttgart
All stores accept Value Added Tax forms, except for all Krüger Dirndl stores.