International Folk Festival attracts people to beer city

BITBURG, Germany - Hundreds of folk-dancing groups from across Europe and other countries have been participating in the annual Bitburg folk festival for 48 years in row. This is a highlight summer event in the Eifel that attracts ten thousands of visitors from across the country and the bordering countries of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. This year, more than 30 folk-dancing and music groups from up to 15 different countries and several different continents are expected to arrive and entertain festival visitors with original dances and music July 6-9 in Bitburg. Among the highlights will be the introduction of all of the folk dancing groups as they walk into the festival tent at 8 p.m. July 7 and a folk festival parade with all participating groups through the streets of Bitburg at 2:30 p.m. July 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff /Released)

For the 49th year straight, folk dancing ensembles from all over Europe and other continents have danced at the annual Bitburg Folk festival, a highlight event in the Bitburg region. This year’s event is scheduled for July 12-15, offering fun for young and old. Participants will be dressed in their traditional outfits, representing their own country and region, entertaining visitors from far and near with traditional folk dances and music. This festival typically attracts thousands of people, who flock into the famous beer city four days straight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Iris Reiff /Released)

BITBURG, Germany -- BITBURG, Germany-- The 49th annual Bitburg Folk festival, a highlight event in the Bitburg region, is just around the corner, scheduled for July 12-15.

Again this year, 30 folk dancing ensembles from Europe and other continents - all participants will be dressed in their traditional outfits, representing their own country and region - will entertain visitors from far and near with traditional folk dances and music. This festival typically attracts ten thousands of people, who flock into the famous beer city to enjoy the fun for four days straight.

Festivities start off at 8 p.m. July 12 with the tapping of the first beer keg at the large festival tent. Best of Phil Collins and Genesis with the "Still Collins" cover band will follow at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are 13 Euros per person at the door.

Activities continue at 10 a.m. July 13 with the welcome of guests from 11 different countries by the city mayor of Bitburg, Joachim Kandels. Dancing groups will introduce themselves with dances shortly afterwards. Location is Postvorplatz, in the pedestrian area.

A highlight event of each year's festival is certainly the traditional beer keg rolling contest of Bitburg, when participants hustle 50-liter beer barrels down a 100-meter course. Winners will be honored at the tent following the contest. This is a fun event to watch and sometimes, a few members from the base also participate. Time is at 2:30 p.m. July 13 on Triererstrasse.

A childrens' folk festival kicks off at 3 p.m. July 13, featuring folk dancing groups and clown "Oh Larry", who will ask children to get involved with the different activities offered.

Starting at 8 p.m. July 13, all participating folk groups from 11 countries will officially march into the tent for dance performances. This is a long but also enjoyable event for those people who enjoy folk dancing.

Early morning dancing performances will occur at 11 a.m. July 14 on Postvorplatz.

Highlight of the European Folk festival is always a parade of all participants through the streets of Bitburg on Sunday. The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. July 14. Roads within the center of the city will be blocked off for traffic and a small entry fee is usually raised for the event.

A special show, dances and music will occur from 4 p.m. until night time at the festival tent. There is a small entry fee to this event.

Activities will come to an end with an international dance evening and get-together at the tent at 7:30 p.m. July 15.

In addition to folk dances, visitors to the fest will also find amusement rides, food stands and candy booths.

The city of Bitburg invites the American neighbors to their festivities. The Bitburg Folklore festival is a great way for anyone to experience European culture and take photos of traditional, European outfits.