Wittlich Pigfest highlights weekend

A cook prepares a roasting pig on a spit as a father with a small child watch him during the annual Pig Burner’s festival in Wittlich, Germany, Aug. 12, 2012. More than 200 pigs are sold annually at the popular "Saeubrenner Kirmes" in Wittlich, an event that attracts thousands of visitors from Germany and various other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff/Released)

A cook prepares a roasting pig on a spit as a father with a small child watch him during the annual Pig Burner’s festival in Wittlich, Germany, Aug. 12, 2012. More than 200 pigs are sold annually at the popular "Saeubrenner Kirmes" in Wittlich, an event that attracts thousands of visitors from Germany and various other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff/Released)

A cook prepares a roasting pig during the annual Pig Burner’s festival in Wittlich, Germany, Aug. 12, 2012. More than 200 pigs are sold annually at the popular "Saeubrenner Kirmes" in Wittlich, an event that attracts thousands of visitors from Germany and various other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff/Released)

A cook prepares a roasting pig during the annual Pig Burner’s festival in Wittlich, Germany, Aug. 12, 2012. More than 200 pigs are sold annually at the popular "Saeubrenner Kirmes" in Wittlich, an event that attracts thousands of visitors from Germany and various other countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Thousands of people are expected to arrive for this year’s Pig Burner’s Festival, a featured summer event for the Eifel area, scheduled to take place Aug. 19-23 in Wittlich.

The annual “Pigfest” is slowly approaching, and the city of Wittlich is prepared for receiving a large crowd of visitors over the weekend, especially on Saturday and Sunday evening. This is when most people typically arrive to enjoy the musical performances, provided by numerous locally popular bands. Food and beverage stands will be lined up near the stage in the market square. In the center near the main stage, one can find the famous pigburners booth and see how the pigs are traditionally roasted on a large spit, then served to visitors for consumption.    

According to legend, Wittlich was once a walled fortress constantly under attack by invaders. One day, a guard who was in charge of locking the door, could not find the peg and used a large carrot instead. A pig ate the carrot, causing the enemy to come in the city and ransack it. Following this, the angry townspeople herded every pig into the market square and roasted them. 

Every year, the city of Wittlich celebrates this legend. For three days in a row, both small and tall can enjoy music and entertainment, amusement rides,  laser shows, a crafts’ market, wine tasting and pig roasting.

This year’s activities start off the evening of Aug. 19 with the traditional play of the pig festival legend happening at 9:15 in the city park. A parade will follow through the streets of Wittlich and into the market square.

People with children, who may be looking for a bit more of a quiet time at the festival, may opt for a visit on Sunday or Monday afternoon Aug. 21-22. 

Most activities come to an end Monday evening, except for the rides and sales booths which will stay open until Tuesday afternoon for families to enjoy. Rides will be available at reduced prices that day.