One of the largest and oldest funfairs in all of Europe, the Cannstatt People's Festival (Volksfest) in Stuttgart offers family fun for people of all ages.
The biggest funfair in Baden Württemberg
Taking place every year during the last week of September and the first week of October, the family festival attracts about four million people, who come to enjoy a wide variety of fairground rides, food stalls and German beer. There is also a sprawling marketplace, where treasure hunters and bargain-seekers alike can find a plethora of unique and useful items.
But one of the Cannstatt People's Festival’s main attractions is the annual Volksfest Parade, which takes place in the city's streets and sees participants singing and dancing in traditional costumes.
© In Stuttgart/Thomas Niedermueller
History of the Cannstatt People's Festival
The Cannstatt People's Festival has been taking place in Stuttgart for more than 200 years, with the first festival taking place on September 28, 1818. Originally established as an agricultural festival with horse races and competitions for the best livestock and local food, the event was spearheaded by King Wilhelm I and his wife Katharina, who sought to boost Württemberg’s economy after the Napoleonic wars.
The festival has continued to grow over the years and now the present-day festival runs for a total of 17 days, rather than a mere single day. The first Cannstatt People's Festival parade took place in 1841, at which time over 10.000 members and more than 100.000 spectators participated - more than double the town’s population of 40.000!
One thing that has not changed over the years is the symbol of the Cannstatter Volksfest - the traditional fruit column. Present since the very first festival, this huge column is decorated with various fruits, vegetables, grains and more as a reminder of the event’s roots.
© In Stuttgart/TN Wasen
Plan your trip to Cannstatter Volksfest
The Cannstatt People's Festival officially opens with a traditional beer keg tapping ceremony on the first Friday of the festival at 3pm in the festival tent "Dinkelacker Klauss & Klauss Festwirte" - so be sure you arrive on time!
The festival is easily accessible via car, public transportation or even bicycle. However, it is important for anyone driving to the funfair to note that there are limited car and bus parking spaces by the main entrance.
Thumb image credit: © In Stuttgart/Thomas Niedermueller