Compiled by Carola Meusel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
The Stuttgart region takes great pride in its annual fests and cultural outings. Locals and visitors alike find themselves confronted with endless opportunities for events ranging from the Stuttgart Spring Festival, to various summer, music and cultural fests before the annual event calendar concludes with Christmas Markets galore.
The following are suggestions of events coming up between now and December.
April 15 to May 7: “Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest” Spring Festival
This year’s annual Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival) will run at the Cannstatter Wasen fest grounds in Bad Cannstatt.
The festival, one of the largest spring fests in Europe, offers various 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.
Three beer tents – “Göckelesmaier,” “Grandl’s Hofbräu Zelt” and “Zum Wasenwirt” — will offer grilled chicken or “Göckele,” and live bands, which will entertain the crowds with “Volksmusik” (German folk music), party, country and rock tunes.
Each fest tent also has a beer garden where visitors can enjoy food and drinks in the sun.
Another highlight is the “Almhüttendorf,” a reconstruction of a typical Bavarian-Austrian alpine village. Here, visitors will find rustic booths and hearty food.
Special family days will be offered April 19 and 26, and May 3 starting at noon. Families are invited to enjoy a day at the fest with reduced entrance fees.
A variety market of vendors selling a variety of goods is offered as well. The fest will conclude May 7 with a firework display set to music from 9:30-9:45 p.m.
The Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest will be open Monday through Thursday from noon to 11 p.m., Friday and prior to a German federal holiday from noon to midnight, Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday and German federal holidays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On May 4, the fest will be open from noon to midnight. For more information, visit http://stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest.de.
The Cannstatter Volksfest fall beer festival at the Cannstatter Wasen will take place Sept. 22 to Oct. 8. For more information, visit http://cannstatter-volksfest.de.
June 15: “Stocherkahnrennen” boat race Tübingen
Tübingen will host its annual Stocherkahnrennen, or boat race, along the Neckar River (between Neckarbrücke and Eisenbahnbrücke bridges). According to the Tübingen Tourist website, the race is one of Tübingen’s most “funny” and “crazy” events of the year. More than 40 local teams, mostly comprised of students, will participate. The first boat race with flatboats, similar to gondolas, was held in 1956. Besides the trophy, the winning team typically receives a keg of beer sponsored by Tübingen’s city administration. The losing team will be in charge of organizing next year’s race and its members have to drink half a liter of cod liver oil in front of all the spectators.
Before the race starts, all teams will float along the Neckar River during the traditional costume parade at 1 p.m. The actual race will start at 2 p.m.
Private or group boat trips in a Stocherkahn, or flatboat, at the Neckar River can be booked from May until October at the Tübingen Bürger- und Verkehrsverein. Visit www.tuebingen-info.de.
June 16-18: International Street Festival Sindelfingen
Sindelfingen will host its Internationales Strassenfest, or international street festival, in the downtown area.
The street fest aims to bring people of all nationalities together to celebrate their cultural heritage and will feature live bands, dance performances, comedy, children’s activities, international food and beverages.
On June 16, the fest will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and June 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.isf-sifi.de.
July 6-16: Hamburger Fischmarkt in Stuttgart
For those who like seafood, refreshing summer cocktails, music and a maritime atmosphere, the “Hamburger Fischmarkt,” or fish market, at Karlsplatz Stuttgart will be the place to be.
Stuttgart has been hosting the Hamburg Fish Market for more than 20 years. In exchange, Stuttgart’s “Weindorf,” or wine village, travels to Hamburg every year to share traditional Swabian dishes and wines with the visitors up North. What a great exchange!
Fischmarkt will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.original-hamburger-fischmarkt.de.
July 20-22: “Bohnenviertelfest” Bean Quarter Fest
During the street festival, visitors have the chance to tour and explore the bean quarter’s cobblestoned streets, hidden alleys and timbered houses.
Visitors can also indulge in Swabian, African, Greek, Italian, Croatian and Asian foods, as well as in local wines, summer cocktails, chocolate-covered fruits and homemade cakes.
A children’s program with arts and crafts and face painting will be offered, as well.
The fest will be open July 20 from 5-11 p.m., July 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to midnight.
The bean quarter is located between the “Charlottenplatz” and “Leonhardsplatz” squares. For more information, visit www.das-bohnenviertelfest.de.
July 8: “Lichterfest” Festival of Lights
Stuttgart will host the Lichterfest, or festival of lights at the “Höhenpark” Killesberg park and leisure area.
The event will feature a 25-minute fireworks display set to music, at 10:15 p.m., and the entire park area will be “magically” illuminated.
Bands will also entertain the crowds with pop, rock, soul, blues and electro tunes throughout the event.
The event will also feature an arts and crafts market.
Patrons can indulge in Swabian, and international foods and beverages.
Trampolines, a hands-on circus, bouncing castles and various playgrounds throughout the Killesberg park area will offer child-friendly activities.
The fest is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. July 9.
Entrance tickets cost €16 when purchased in advance or €18 at the event. Family tickets (two adults and two children 15 years old or younger) cost €35 when purchased early, or €39 at the event. All forms of public transportation within the Verkehrs-und Tariverbund Stuttgart are included in the ticket price.
Tickets can be purchased by calling civ. 0711-25555-55 or at www.easyticket.de. The Höhenpark Killesberg is located at Am Kochenhof 1, 70192 Stuttgart. For more information, visit www.lichterfest-stuttgart.de.
July 19-23: Culinary Festival at the Böblingen Lake
During the “Schlemmen am See” culinary festival, visitors can indulge in fine foods ranging from regional Swabian cuisine to international delicacies.
Live music and entertainment, as well as a children’s program will also be offered.
The culinary festival will be open July 19 from 5-11 p.m., July 20 from 5 p.m. to midnight, July 21-22 from noon to midnight, and July 23 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.schlemmenamsee.com.
Aug. 4-14: Onion Festival Esslingen
Esslingen will host the Zwiebelfest, or onion festival, at the Marktplatz in the historic downtown area.
For those who always wanted to taste Swabian onion cake, now is the time to do so during the fest.
Other than onion cake, hearty Swabian food, including “Kässpätzle” and meat dishes, as well as local wines and “Sekt,” or sparkling wines, will be offered.
The fest is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, visit www.esslingerzwiebelfest.de.
Aug. 3-6: “Stuttgarter Sommerfest” Summer Fest
Enjoy summer in the city during the “Stuttgarter Sommerfest” summer festival.
The fest will span from Schlossplatz and the Neues Schloss (New Palace) to the State Opera and all around the “Eckensee” Lake.
Bands will entertain visitors with jazz, swing, dixie, soul, rock and music from South America throughout the event. Summer cocktails, Swabian cuisine and fine seafood will also be offered.
The fest will be open Aug. 3 from 5 p.m. to midnight, Aug. 4 and 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visit www.sommerfest-stuttgart.de.
Aug. 30 to Sept. 10: “Weindorf” Wine Fest Stuttgart
The city of Stuttgart celebrates Baden-Württemberg’s centuries-old wine tradition during its annual “Stuttgarter Weindorf,” or wine village, in downtown Stuttgart.
The middle Neckar region has always been known for cultivating fine wines, ranging from Trollinger red to white Riesling to rose Schiller wines. According to legend, there was more wine than water in Stuttgart during the 14th century, which resulted in Swabia adopting wine as the national drink.
During the fest, more than 500 wines from the Württemberg and Baden regions can be accompanied with traditional Swabian dishes such as “Maultaschen” (meat and vegetable-stuffed noodles), “Zwiebelrostbraten” (roast beef with sautéed onions) and “Bubaspitzle” (potato noodles mainly served with sauerkraut).
The fest spans from the Marktplatz square to Kirchstrasse and the Schillerplatz square. Here, the statue of the famous Swabian poet, Friedrich Schiller, oversees the wine fest. Some people say that the light-bodied Schiller rose wine is named after him.
The fest is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 11:30 a.m. until midnight Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.stuttgarter-weindorf.de.
Sept. 1 to Nov. 5: Ludwigsburg “Kürbisausstellung” The World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival
The Ludwigsburg Kürbisausstellung, or pumpkin festival, runs at the Blühende Barock garden area at the Ludwigsburg Castle.
This year, the exhibition’s motto is “Rome.” More than 450,000 pumpkins and over 600 different varieties from all over the world, ranging from edible to decorative, will be featured throughout the event.
Visitors can also sample pumpkin-inspired foods and drinks ranging from pumpkin “Flammkuchen,” soup and spaghetti to pumpkin burgers, strudel, “Maultaschen,” popcorn pumpkin candy and sparkling wine.
The festival is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost €8.50 for adults and €4.20 for children 15 years old and younger. For more information, visit www.kuerbisausstellung-ludwigsburg.de.
Sept. 22 to Oct. 8: The Cannstatter Volksfest fall beer festival at the Cannstatter Wasen, second largest to Oktoberfest in Munich. For more information, visit http://cannstatter-volksfest.de.
Oct. 13-15: “Filderkrautfest” Cabbage Festival
Visitors can enjoy cabbage-inspired products ranging from salads, noodles, “Schupfnudeln,” or Swabian potato noodles, to burgers and meat plates.
Live bands and dance performances will be offered throughout various fest tents, barns, restaurants and wine booths.
Cabbage-shredding and cabbage-carrying competitions will be held as well.
On Oct. 13, all stores will be open for a long shopping night from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The fest will be open Oct. 13 from 2-11 p.m., Oct. 14 from 2-11 p.m. and Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit www.leinfelden-echterdingen.de.
Oct. 14: Stuttgart Nacht
“Stuttgart Nacht,” or Stuttgart Night, will feature more than 70 events such as concerts, lectures, theater and club parties in and around downtown Stuttgart from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 15.
Tickets cost €17 and include transportation along with admission into every location.
Shuttle buses will run all night from the Stuttgart Stadtmitte (Rotebühlplatz), Tagblattturm and Siegle-Haus.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.stuttgartnacht.de, or call civ. 0711-601-5444.
Tickets can also be purchased during the event at all participating event locations. For more information, visit www.stuttgartnacht.de.
Nov. 29 to Dec. 23: Stuttgart Christmas Market
The Stuttgart Christmas market is located in the downtown area and spans from Marktplatz to Schillerplatz, Karlsplatz and Schlossplatz. With more than 250 festive booths and attractions, it is considered one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets.
Children of all ages can enjoy an ice rink, a small Ferris wheel and a miniature train. A Finnish Christmas village can be found at Karlsplatz. The market will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec.5-10: “ChocolArt” Chocolate Festival
Tübingen will host the “chocolART,” the largest chocolate festival in Germany.
The festival, which runs throughout downtown Tübingen, features more than 100 skilled chocolatiers from Europe, South America and Africa who offer a variety of fine chocolates.
Visitors can experience chocolate in many ways throughout the festival, since the chocolatiers play with exotic ingredients and offer various chocolate and praline compositions that make for a different taste. Chocoholics may be happy to hear that chocolates can be sampled throughout the event.
The vent will be open Dec. 5 from 1-8 p.m., Dec. 6-8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.chocolart.de.