Make way for bikers at Happy Mosel -- 17 years of the world’s longest wine street festival

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
The Mosel valley will become the Eldorado for bicyclers for the 17th year in a row, May 3, when roads between Cochem and Schweich belong to cyclists and walkers only. The 140-kilometer stretch will be closed to vehicle traffic between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., transforming this area into a recreational roadway.

According to organ¬izers, more than 100,000 people are expected to participate in this unique multicultural sporting event. Happy Mosel is the longest wine street festival in the world.

More than 50 villages and communities left and right of the Mosel Wine Street will provide a variety of entertainment such as live bands, folk dancing performances, child¬ren's entertainment, a farmer's, antique and handicraft market, open wine cellars and more. Anyone can join in the fun by biking, skating or walking from town to town. Original food specialties of the Mosel region as well as home-made goodies, wine and champagne can be found on Mosel residents' patios, at various stands, gasthauses and at wine cellars.

Happy Mosel sporting events include demonstrations and performances by top athletes in soccer, volleyball, tennis and shooting. One major stage for sports demonstrations can be found in the Mosel town of Kroev. Children may enjoy a variety of games, pony rides, face painting, puppet theater performances and more. Another stage offering fun and activities to include musical entertainment can be found in Bernkastel-Kues, along with a fitness massage tent and a bicycling repair station.

Central opening events take place in the town of Leiwen around 10 a.m., where the Minister President of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kurt Beck, will welcome participants and a series of activities will kick off Happy Mosel. Other major activities are sched¬uled to be held in Zell, Traben-Trarbach and Neuma¬gen-Dhron. Bikers can enjoy the entertainment and food offered by German club members along the way. Some German privately owned stores in Mosel towns may be open Sunday.

There will be special trains set up especially for Happy Mosel people can transport their bikes with for free, but, people do need to purchase a train ticket. Special bus service by the Rhein-Mosel-Verkehrsgesellschaft RMV will also be available from major Mosel towns. People are encouraged to use public transportation rather than their own vehicles, if possible.

A few start-off points for bicyclers are the towns of Schweich, Kroev or Cochem, where people may park and start bicycling. Starting at Lieser, Bernkastel or another Mosel town is also good. For those who intend to take the train toward Cochem, Wittlich is the closest recommended train station to depart from for Spangdahlem people. Happy Mosel is a festive spring opportunity for athletes, volksmarchers, bikers and friends of wine and nature. For more information about Happy Mosel, call the Mosellandtouristik information office in Bernkastel, at 06531-19433. Be sure to inquire about the public transportation schedule.

Happy Mosel activities:
· Competitions and games near the Longuich bridge
· A children's jumping castle near the Mehring bridge
· An animal petting zoo on the B-53 entrance of Kluesserath
· A jumping castle and a German soccer goal wall on the Kluesserath St. Kunibertplatz town entry
· Children's entertainment at the Wintrich Weingut vintner's estate, located on Moselweinstrasse 18
· A childrens' carrousel at Bernkastel-Kues Gestade
· Sports and adventure activities at the Bernkastel-Kues Moselparkplatz
· A jumping castle on the Zeltingen-Rachtig Mosel shore
· High-bike and one-wheel bike performances at the Erden town entrance, and Roman games at the Erden Kelteranlage
· A bike show, games and other entertainment on the SWR1 radio stage in Traben-Trarbach
· A soccer goal wall on the Reil festival grounds