Bitburg invites to annual festival

A member of the band “Aischzeit” plays an Alp horn to entertain guests during the official opening of the Bitburg Bier festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/Iris Reiff)

A member of the band “Aischzeit” plays an Alp horn to entertain guests during the official opening of the Bitburg Bier festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/Iris Reiff)

City and Bitburg Brewery officials, along with some invited guests, tap the first keg of beer during the opening ceremonies of the Bitburg Bier festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/Iris Reiff)

City and Bitburg Brewery officials, along with some invited guests, tap the first keg of beer during the opening ceremonies of the Bitburg Bier festival. (U.S. Air Force photo/Iris Reiff)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The annual Bitburg Bier festival, very similar to a Bavarian-style October festival, takes place March 12 through April 13 this year, with opening celebrations scheduled for 7 p.m. March 12. City officials will tap the first keg of beer during the opening at the large Bavarian festival tent, located on former Bitburg Flugplatz, or Airport. Entry costs to the opening festivities are 5 Euros per person. The band "Aischzeit" will provide entertainment for the evening.

Celebrations will occur five weekends in a row. The weekends of March 19-20 will have entertainment provided by the band "Members." March 26-27 will coincide with music provided by the band "Die Bamberger." On April 3 no dance music is allowed because of Easter, and music will be played on April 4 by "Buddy" & "Ussem Veedel." On April 9-10 the bands "mad taste" and "Sidewalk" will entertain the crowd, and on April 10, typical Cologne "Koelsche Nacht" music will play. Lastly, April 16-17 will conclude the festival with music provided by the band "Wildbach" and the Bierfest finale will be "Wildbach."

It is recommended for groups to reserve tables well ahead of time at 06561-91500.

German Polizei officials and festival organizers point out that people must not drink and drive.

Those who consume alcohol at the festival must prepare for transportation by means of a designated driver or taxi cab or book hotel accommodations ahead of time. Police controls will be enforced for the duration of the festival.

Non-alcoholic beverages, to include alcohol-free beer, will be available at the festival as will food.

Information on the Bitburg "Bier" festival is available at www.bitburger-bierfest.de or via hotline 06561-91500.