(Previously: We see family in Stuttgart.)
Stuttgart’s city district of Bad Cannstatt hosted its first harvest festival in 1818, and just over 30,000 people attended the celebration. Today Volksfest is the biggest carnival in the world, attracting close to five million people for the 16-day event, and it is the second largest beer festival in the world after Munich’s Oktoberfest.
There are seven beer tents at Volksfest, and we had tickets for the Schwaben Bräu. Our ticket cost just 15 Euro and included three liters of beer and half of a chicken. Yes, three liters and half of a chicken.
Don’t Nick and my brother Andrew look cute in their coordinating shirts? And I was thrilled to wear my dirndl again.
Volksfest definitely beats Oktoberfest for mug design originality. Andrew even purchased one to take home as a souvenir.
Volksfest also wins for best music. Hands down.
When we first arrived at the tent, the ensemble on stage was playing a variety of international music. With each song — African, Italian, American — tables full of folks from that country raised their glasses and sang along. It was jovial, but not original. While they were performing, however, stagehands set up drum kits and brass instruments and track lighting. I guessed there was another bigger act taking the stage next. I was right.
When Dorfrocker walked out, the locals went wild. They looked like Hanson. Or the Jonas Brothers. But they were far better than either.
What’s the drinking age in Germany? Because at least two of them swung liters of beer along with us while we all sang “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit.”
(The sound quality of my iPhone video is poor, but it still makes me smile.)
We stayed until the very end of the Dorfrocker’s performance. And when we walked outside, it felt as though we had just left a frat party. My ears were ringing, and my feet were sore. At least I smelled like hefeweizen and not Natty Light.
Of course the boys had to get in a few amusement rides before we called it a night.
And I had to have my photo taken in front of the world’s largest mobile Ferris Wheel.
Next up: We visit Switzerland on our final day.