Rheinland-Pfalz Tag full of state culture, entertainment

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
It is not right at the doorstep of the base, but it is certainly worth the two-hour trip.

Neustadt an der Weinstrasse is located at the heart of Palatinate wine region, close to the Alsace border of France and surrounded by small wine villages, castles, forests and a sea of vineyards. Because of its charming character and perfect location, it is probably not a coincidence that Neustadt an der Weinstrasse was chosen to host this year's Rheinland-Pfalz Tag, the largest state fair of its kind for the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz, and where people may experience local state culture, beautiful scenery and high-carat entertainment.

According to event organizers, the three-day event will draw about 300,000 visitors from across Germany and neighboring countries.

Rheinland-Pfalz Day is an annual summer event sponsored by the state of Rheinland-Pfalz, and it's held in different locations throughout the state every year. The event, which takes place for the 27th time this year, offers a variety of entertainment and cultural events. Different regions, cities, communities and associations around Rheinland-Pfalz take part in the activities.

Among the highlights is a cultural parade float 3-4 p.m. June 13, featuring 130 participants. The parade is 2.1 kilometers long and proceeds through the center area of town.

Overall, Rheinland-Pfalz Tag features large-scale exhibitions: 22 festival areas with 13 large music and performance stages that host concerts, shows, dances and sporting events.

Sales stands with art and souvenirs can be found throughout the festival. A large variety of different food items, beverages and wines are available to visitors.

Rheinland-Pfalz Tag also entails a joint military forces exhibition, including U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Among the highlights of the state fair are a giant fireworks display 10:45 p.m. June 12 and a huge float that will travel through the streets of town 3-5 p.m. June 13. The parade features about 4,000 participants made up of 130 wagons and various groups.

This is a great opportunity for people to take photographs, featuring local tradition and culture. It is common to dress up in original folk costumes.

Neustadt an der Weinstrasse is an attractive, quaint town that has a beautiful Altstadt area, or old city, dating back to the year 1245. The city has about 56,000 inhabitants with 28,500 people living in the center of town. Neustadt has many tourists and holiday guests yearround.

Neustadt is surrounded by a large number of smaller wine villages and beautiful vineyards, more than 5,000 acres in total. The city has natural preserve areas and is well-known for its fine-bouquet wines.

The 2010 state fair in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse began today with official opening remarks by state and local officials. The Minister President of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kurt Beck, welcomed visitors.

Neustadt an der Weinstrasse can be reached via Kaiserslautern and Frankenstein. The city also has a centrally-located train station for those who wish to leave their cars at home. Organizers say the city will be especially crowded on Sunday. The center of town will be blocked off to traffic during the three-day event. It is advisable to take the train or arrive early by car in order to find good parking. Stop by a local train station or go online to www.DeutscheBahn.de for train information.