Bernkastel turns into party site Sept. 4-9|
Posted 9/3/2008 Updated 9/3/2008
by Iris Reiff
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/3/2008 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Bernkastel, a famous holiday site, celebrates its traditional wine festival of the middle Mosel today through Monday.
More than 20 wine growing towns will participate in the fest, the largest of its kind along the Mosel.
When visitors arrive in Bernkastel, the center of the Mosel wine industry, they can experience the delicious Riesling wines at one of the town's old wine cellars or enjoy the Mosel hospitality and entertainment offered in hotels, cozy wine taverns, first-class restaurants or traditional coffee houses.
The adventurous can follow a cobblestone path behind the statue in the square, traveling through steeply sloped vineyards. Take your time, snap lots of pictures and take a break to enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Mosel, with the largest continuously-linked vineyard slopes in Germany.
The Bernkastel festival officially starts Sept. 5, 3:30 p.m., opening with the amusement park, the handicraft market and the wine street; a limited number of free rides will be available at this time. The current wine queen, "Mosella" Catharina II, will be present and greeted by the city mayor, Wolfgang Port.
The Donnerwetter & Band music ensemble plays in the Karlsbad square in the evening. A concert by the Bernkastel-Kues City Orchestra follows in the main market square. There will be a brief farewell for the "Mosella 2006/2007" wine queen, Jana I, and a welcome reception for the new "Mosella 2008," Catharina II, in the main market square. An entertainment program will also kick off in the market square featuring dancing performances and various music presentations on stage to include fanfares, percussion and trumpet performances. The Take Five band will entertain on Karlsbader Platz in the evening.
Activities will continue Saturday with the opening of the handicraft market at 11 a.m.
Music by various local bands and fanfares, to include performances by the Dutch, Belgian and French, will occur in the main market square and throughout the city.
The highlight of the middle Mosel wine festival will be a giant fireworks display from the Burg Landshut Castle and the Mosel shore, Saturday, and is known as the biggest pyrotechnic spectacle on the Mosel. Built during the 13th century, the castle ruins lie atop a vine-clad hillside.
Music by the Ghost Riders and other bands will occur within the town until midnight.
More music by European groups, wine tasting and fun is scheduled for Sunday. Performances will start at the town's Moselland hall, and continue all day throughout town.
Another highlight of the Bernkastel fest is a colorful folk parade Sunday featuring around 100 floats, fanfares and bands parading through the city; this is an excellent photographic opportunity. A variety of music will occur in the market square until late in the evening.
The 45-minute drive from Spangdahlem to Bernkastel along the Mosel River is a delightful scenic route which takes travelers through valleys and around hills. With its medieval architecture, Bernkastel-Kues is a favorite holiday site for Mosel travelers and wine connoisseurs.
Safety tips: It will be extremely crowded during the weekend, especially Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, so get there early to find convenient parking. People may have to walk a mile or two to get to the activities from a designated parking lot. It is not advised to bring small children to this event, which includes alcohol consumption and a lot of wine tasting. Alcohol control checks will be enforced throughout the weekend around Bernkastel and elsewhere. To be safe and stay out of trouble, festival visitors must arrange for transportation after consuming alcohol--DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
6 - 11:15 p.m. - entertainment on the wine street
3:30 p.m. - official opening of amusement park, handicraft market and wine street
8:30 p.m. - farewell for Mosella 2006/2007 wine queen and welcome for new wine queen
9 p.m. - midnight - musical entertainment by Take Five band
11 a.m. - handicraft market opens
12:45 - 8 p.m. - entertainment music by various music associations and fanfares
8 - 9 p.m. - musical entertainment by the Ghost Riders band
9 - 9:30 p.m. - fireworks displays with music
10 a.m. - handicraft market opens
2 p.m. - colorful folk parade
2 p.m. - handicraft market opens
5 - 8 p.m. -- happy hour at the amusement park with reduced prices
10 a.m. -- handicraft market opens
1 p.m. -- Family Day at the amusement park