Perhaps the Wäldchestag in Frankfurt was the most unique folk festival in the republic? The four-day celebration begins in Frankfurter Wäldche on Saturday evening.
FRANKFURT – The Frankfurt City Forest, which occupied 650 this year, can finally celebrate Honors Day again after the enforced interruption caused by the pandemic: What is probably Frankfurt’s most special folk festival, Waldstag, begins on White Saturday (June 4) ) behind the Hotel Oberforsthaus. 120 landmarks and covered platforms among the trees await visitors until Tuesday evening (7 June).
The view is overwhelming. Especially since the world suddenly opens up to the viewer here. In the Frankfurt city forest, he climbed into a small gondola. He carries it, and passes between the tops of two trees, as if a plane pierced the cloud cover. Only much quieter, so that the loud “UI” escaping the reporter can certainly be heard in places as far away as the Financial District. At least he can see that far. The entire town is spread out at the foot of the ferris wheel for the popular Wäldchestag festival. Then it disappears again behind the lush greenery as the wheel continues to spin.
The city celebrated its last Forest Day three years ago, in 2019, and then the epidemic came. Now, stalls, trains, music, and human poachers are once again attracting. One of these is Tomas Vida, president of Frankfurt Tours and Congress. He invited the press on Thursday (June 2) for a tour of the festival grounds. Feda greets the fellow who arrived at the meeting point a minute late: “Oh, we just finished, the tour started an hour ago.”
Of course the fellow doesn’t fall for it, but the ice breaks because everyone should laugh. The folk festival itself deals with it in a very similar way. Even before the hustle and bustle behind the Oberforsthaus starts, its smell is already spreading through the woods. A speck of popcorn flies in the air, attracting roasted almonds and cotton candy. W: It’s fresh in the woods. Whoever enters and leaves the stifling city is behind the noise of cars. With a bit of goodwill, the intentions of the planes too.
Wäldchestag Frankfurt: a unique festival – traditionally closed shops
Feda begins to explain: “It’s a truly unique festival.” 120 attractions are distributed in the forest, wrapped between logs as environmentally friendly as possible. Kiosks, roundabouts, summer gardens, maze, ghost train, music stages. “There is no such festival in the woods in Germany,” Feda is excited about. And which city other than Frankfurt even has its own public holiday?
Until the 1990s, most Frankfurt stores were closed on White Tuesday afternoons, and people were empty by 12 noon. Although this has subsided somewhat before Corona, Frankfurt tourism experts are trying to return to tradition. The first 20 companies that register on the tourism website, and therefore pledge to come to the festival as a closed business on Tuesday, will receive a 50% discount on flights.
Talk about inheritance. Feda says that what sets the summer gardens apart at the festival isn’t just that there are a variety of foods and drinks to choose from. There is no compulsion to consume. No one will complain if guests bring their own picnics, as promised by Feda. “It’s not fun for restaurateurs,” says Thomas Roy, but it reminds us of earlier times when people all brought their rides with them.
four days The celebration will take place in the Frankfurt City Forest, Am Oberforsthaus, from 4 to 7 June, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 1 am, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12 noon to midnight. There are 120 attractions among the trees: carousels, kiosks, summer gardens with food and drink, a ferris wheel, a mirror maze, and musical stages with a colorful mix of sounds.
Frankfurt Rifle Corps Every day from 2 pm he invites you to shoot in the forest (from 18 years old) at Schützenhaus am Oberforsthaus. The Frankfurt judge and city council members will compete in the shooting competition on the evening of the forest, June 7.
Frankfurt: Popular festivals like Wäldchestag pose a challenge to showmen after Corona
Roy has been present at the folk festival in the woods since early childhood. A descendant of a dynasty of today’s showmen is the head of the Frankfurt Association Rhein-Mein Schumann. Corona may seem to be over, and browsers are still struggling with the fallout. “They go through week after week,” Roy says. 95 percent came back after the pandemic. He estimates that it will certainly take another five years to recover.
Especially since the situation is currently not rosy. “Everything is getting more and more expensive,” Thomas Vida agrees. Energy, Garbage Fee, TÜV Reports, Maintenance, Personnel. The city is trying not to pass the costs on to the show guys too hard. They also do this with customers in mind. “They don’t have more money in their pockets than they did before,” Roy says. Thus, Wäldchestag prices are approaching the level of 2019. Roy believes that the market is becoming more dynamic. Show guys will have to limit themselves and only go where it makes economic sense. Where the flight is not far. Some may be ashamed of a festival that only lasts four days, under uncertain weather conditions.
This makes it difficult for cities to find attractions. So they’ll have to put in additional triggers, Roy wishes. They got closer to each other, created more opportunities for showmen, just made storage space. For example, the initially mentioned Ferris wheel was already in use at the Frankfurt Spring Dippemess in April. After that, he did not drive all the way to Munich, but packed his bags and waited in Frankfurt for the Wäldchestag.
Wäldchestag Frankfurt: private bus and rickshaw routes
Good for those who have space for it. It gets pretty cramped at the weekend for Wäldchestag guests with cars. There is a parking space at the Mörfelder Landstraße or the Isenburger Schneise. But at the same time, the World Club Dome is raging in nearby Waldstadion. “People should come by bike or tram the traditional way,” recommends festival director Christian Muller of Tourismus GmbH. Tram line 21 stops at Oberforsthaus, and the VGF also sends private line 20 on the way. There are 61 buses in addition to a special line 80 running for this purpose.
“Or they can come on foot and with a rickshaw,” advises Nina Malavia, authorized employee of GmbH. That would be more traditional. Based on the founding myths of the festival. There are many of them. Congress GmbH named two: Either the festival in the woods is due to the craftsmen who always celebrated the end of the administrative year in the Imperial Free City on Pentecost until 1729. Or the farmworkers and maids set an example, after Pentecost, who led cattle to pastures for the first time in the year , with a walk in their luggage.
Frankfurt and Wäldchestag – a folk festival with tradition and heart
Anyway, Wäldchestag has had a career since then. “And what kind of star was there to visit,” Thomas Vida jokes. Goethe of course, Mendelssohn Bartholdi, Schopenhauer, Friedrich Stoltz. Which stars are coming this time? “Our visitors today are the star,” Feda paused briefly and then said quick-witted. A look at the show’s brochure would have told him there was also Roy Hammer, the Gypsys, and Bergen town band Enckheim, a ZZ-Top tribute band.
So the best prospects. Only the swing ship at Dietchem Swing Club offers the best ships, as particularly intrepid people can swing so high that they roll. Roy Wadda sways a little for fun in the photo, then Nick shows Zurty how it’s done. The 28-year-old tends to the swing until he rolls several times. “It feels great,” he said afterwards, standing upside down at the highest point of the swinging motion for a moment. “Weightless.” (The sky)