Also known as the spring festival, the Fruehlingsfest takes place in Stuttgart in the middle of April and early May. The city sets up an entire amusement park in an area in Bad Cannstatt filled with roller coasters, and an assortment of rides. Every year, the amusement park gets packed up after the festival ends. Seems not worth the effort to me. It looked and felt a lot like the Fair at the PNE in Vancouver where parents brought their children. But despite its German style, like the Bavarians, the bars served a maβ of beer as well. Many stayed in the beer tents of the Stuttgart Hofbraeu drinking nonstop and stood on the benches waving the giant beer mug around. Others linked arms and danced. The atmosphere felt super German. Although in Munich, my friends and I visited The Hofbraeuhaus, the atmosphere felt more tourist-like, which took away from the real German part of it. Not many tourists visited the Fruehlingsfest. My friends and I all drank a maβ of beer (and more later on) to stick with the tradition. I went to the Fruehlingsfest with some friends from Bosch and others I met from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Ironically though, most of the people we went with came from Canada or USA, with one coming from France and another from Brazil.
Around the park, it looked like any amusement park. Loud sounds coming from speakers playing music, screams coming from a roller coaster nearby, and the amazing smell of all the super unhealthy fried foods kept reminding me of all the time I spent at the PNE during the past few summers in Vancouver. But inside the beer tents, the atmosphere totally changed.
From outside the beer tent, I could already see the giant party going on inside. Watched by security guards around the perimeter, they made sure that no minor could get in. For the first time, I actually people showing their ID’s before going in. Even at 2:30 in the afternoon, I already saw a man passed on drunk lying outside the beer tent.
While all the parents and their children stayed outside playing on the rides, everyone else stayed in the beer tent to drink the day away. We stayed in the beer tent for about an hour before we walked around the park. I went home at around 10 pm, after an eventful day of taking part in the German beer culture.