Bitburg invites community to European Folk Festival
By Iris Reiff, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 28, 2012
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Base members are welcome to join the local community in celebrating the 48th European Folk Festival July 6 - 9 in Bitburg.
The event is a highlight festival in the Eifel region that attracts tens of thousands of people from all across Germany and the bordering countries of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
About 30 folk-dancing and music groups from more than 15 different countries and several different continents will perform original dances and music. A small amusement park can also be found in the area in front of the Beda Cultural House throughout the entire event.
Entertainment starts July 6 with a rock night and concert at 8 p.m. for the younger crowds, by an AC/DC cover band. A limited number of tickets are still available for the concert at 13 Euros per person.
The traditional Bitburg beer keg rolling competition begins 2:30 p.m. July 7, during which approximately 20 teams meet on Triererstrasse to hustle 50-liter beer barrels down a 100-meter course. Winners will be awarded the "Golden Barrel" following the contest. A few base members traditionally participate in the event.
Children can participate in a children's folk dancing festival 3 p.m. July 7 at the festival tent. Among the participants will be folk dancing groups from Bitburg, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the Clown, "Oh' Larry."
The cities' music association will play brass band sounds from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. July 7. Groups and representatives from 13 European countries will march into the tent and introduce themselves with dances and entertainment, dressed in their traditional outfits, some of them providing traditional music and presenting their countries' flags.
Live dance music will be provided by the "Freaky Voices" band, starting at 8:30 p.m. July 7 at a festival stage outside the tent.
The highlight of the European Folk Festival is a parade of all participants through the streets of Bitburg. The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. July 8. Roads within the center of the city will be blocked off for traffic and a small entry fee is usually raised for the event.
The evening continues with a Salsa Party at 8 p.m. July 8 at the festival stage outside the tent, while the "Harmonie du Pay de Bitche" band from France will play 11:30 a.m., the local "Slaughterhouse Jazzband" at 12:30 p.m., the "Wollmar E.V. Muechhausen" folk dancing group at 4:30 p.m. and the "HOP Dance School" from Bitburg 4:45 p.m. on Postvorplatz.
A church service is planned for 10 a.m. July 8 at the "Liebfrauen und St. Peter" catholic church, located in the pedestrian zone. Music provided by the Bitburg City Music Association will follow 11 a.m. on Postvorplatz. The Coronation Brass Band from Caerphilly, Great Britain, will perform entertainment music 4 p.m. on Postvorplatz.
The folk dance group, "Demizon," from Straznice, Czech Republic, will perform traditional dances 7:30 p.m. July 8 on Postvorplatz.
Folk dances by most folk dancing groups will occur on Postvorplatz and at the festival tent starting 11 a.m. July 9. An international farewell dance evening and get-together will start off 7:15 p.m July 9 the festival tent. More folk dancing performances and dance music will occur until late in the evening.
The Bitburg European Folk festival is a great opportunity for Americans to experience European culture and take photos of traditional, European outfits.