Bremer Freimarkt, biggest Fairground Festival in northern Germany

Categories: Family and Kids, Entertainment

Ferris Wheel, author Tarawneh
Ferris Wheel, author Tarawneh

[ source: Wikipedia]

The 5th season starts with the slogan Ischa Freimaak, it's free-fair. The fun begins in Bremen on the 16th of Oct. and continues for 17 days. On the Bremer Bürgerweide its action, speed and party. On the market square its back to the Middle Ages with old-fashioned carousels, handicrafts, sweets, spicy liquorice, smoked eel and other culinary delights.

The Bremer Freimarkt is rightfully called the Carnival of the North and during the 17 days there is no closing time for pubs! Light cascades, thrills on high-tech fairground rides, smoked eels, traditional handicrafts and merry-go-round, BBQ steaks and sausages, cotton candy, the list of attractions and fun options is endless.

100,000 square meter action on the Bremer Freimarkt, Bürgerweide

Since many years now Bremen's Fairground Festival is held on the right side of the River Weser, next to the main train station on the Bürgerweide. Around 4 million visitors join in the festivities each year in the second half of October and discover that the cool north can get in fact quite hot. What once started as a free market fair became in fact one of the biggest Fairground Festivals in all of Germany. The typical Bremen citizens love their sometimes drizzling weather condition around this time and insist that its part of the whole fair. Counter measures are taken by a hot and steamy drink called stiff grog and a yummy BBQ sausage. 320 fairground attractions, with some of them being truly state-of-the-art and not for the fainthearted, await their happy customers and the action never stops.

Bremer Freimarkt is the oldest fair in Germany

On the 16th of October 1035 Emperor Conrad II granted Archbishop Bezelkin the right to stage a fair. That was the beginning of the oldest German Fairground Festival. In 1404 the Roland-Statue, Bremen's protector for market rights and freedom was erected. In 1793 Franz II was the last German Emperor who granted the Bremen (Bremen vacation rentals | Bremen travel guide) merchants the right for the Freimarkt - as of this time, they decided themselves when they wanted to celebrate! With the Age of Enlightenment, which freed life and customs of traditional formality, and the introduction of the first carousels and swings around 1800, the market transformed into an entertainment fair. From 1860 the market developed further on account of technology such as illumination. In 1862 oil lamps were replaced by petroleum lamps, these then by gas lamps as of 1880, and four years later by electric lamps. In 1936 the Freimarkt, which had taken place at differing locations got a fixed location in the heart of Bremen on the Bürgerweide, where it is still held today.

Reminder of the Middle Ages is the Kleine Freimarkt, Little Free-Fair, on the market square

Numerous attractions, old-fashioned carousels such as the merry-go-round, and original handicrafts are offered on the market square between the majestic city hall and the Church of Our Lady. Illuminations turn this place into a dreamworld where you can watch blacksmiths, glass blowers and stonemasons show off their handicraft skills over open fires, bargain with merchants or sample some of their fresh prepared foods and sweets.

On the 24th of October it's time for the Carneval procession

Can it get any more colorful than this? On this day around 200,000 spectators and revelers are expected in Bremen to witness or join in the Carneval procession which will lead over the River Weser, through the city center to the Freimarkt on the Bürgerweide. Everything goes and the musical entertainment will include sultry samba rhythms, heavy techno beats and traditional brass band music. Around 150 participating groups with their phantasy parade floats or traditional displays, all dressed in colorful costumes, will participate in this unique procession and even throw sweets and candy canes into the crowds.

What a chance to learn something about the typical north German culture and hospitality. Enjoy the 5th season in Bremen between the 16th of October and the 1th of November 2009.

About this Article

Monika Petra

This travel guide has been written by Monika Petra.

In her own words: When children are born they receive certain gifts to put them to good use or not. In my cradle there must have been at least music and the curiosity for the world we live in. Luckily I could combine those gifts eventually. My live as a jazz vocalist guided me to see and experience many places in Germany and far beyond. As in my music I like to dive in the historical background of given facts, simply to understand the present. During my travel, my circles got wider and wider and since many years I am now living in Thailand, very interesting to say the least. I grew up in Paderborn, lived and studied Jazz in Cologne's Musikhochschule and worked a while in Bayreuth and Kulmbach. My travels throughout Germany took me to all major cities and small towns. It was the people and local differences, be it language, food, traditions and customs, which made it a lot of fun. When finally the wall came down, I was one of those in Berlin posing on the rests of it for the camera. Off course I took the first opportunity to rediscover the new but old states of Germany and finally understood the impact the wall had on all Germans and in regards to the worst part in German history. Being a German living abroad, I discovered in years what I value most about Germany. Rest assured it is a country of rich cultural background still alive today. I visit my home country regularly and stay in touch with my friends, even those back from school. Another thing I always felt passionate about is writing and sharing my experience and thoughts. The internet provides us all with a great opportunity to connect, tell stories, read and learn from others and grow as a global community.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Bürgerweide, 28215 Bremen, Germany

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Opening Hours

16th of October to the 1st of November 2009, daily from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until midnight.

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