Best-kept Summer Secret Among German Fests, Düsseldorf’s Annual Outdoor Spectacle the “Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine” Draws 4 Million Visitors in 9 Days

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More than 400,000 visitors per day can’t be wrong: Düsseldorf’s “Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine” in July is a summer festival superlative and a new major international entertainment destination for family travel.

Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine

The morning-to-night festival is a bona-fide German fest, the kind that is meant to be a respite from everyday life for absolutely everyone from old to young and transforms a whole town for days.

Düsseldorf’s annual Rheinkirmes, the “Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine,” an enormous annual German outdoor amusement and beer fest (2011 dates: July 15-24), has stepped into the international limelight as extraordinary summer family entertainment. The 9-day fun fair attracted a record-breaking 4 million visitors last year and has grown into a serious new party destination in its own right over the past years.

The morning-to-night festival is a bona-fide German fest, the kind that is meant to be a respite from everyday life for absolutely everyone from old to young and transforms a whole town for days. The festival began 500 years ago as a local club celebration, and its main feature, the outdoor fair, is now in its 110th year.

The Biggest Fun Fair is a harmonious mingling of beer fest and family fun: 42 acres of tents, with purveyors serving the world-famous local Alt brew and many culinary treats, as well as a temporary amusement park, built right on the river, so big and modern it rivals some of the biggest permanent parks. State-of-the-art roller coasters and other amusement rides transform the skyline, and tens of thousands visit daily, many by ferry from across the river, the home of Düsseldorf’s Old Town and its Longest Bar in the World (260 bars, pubs and restaurants in under a mile).

Another major attraction is the huge fireworks display on the last Friday of the fair (July 22, 2011). There will also be a parade featuring 3,000 marchers in uniforms and on horseback and orchestra performances to complete the German fair experience and, like the city, bridge the traditional and the modern. Another example of tradition meeting today: For 21 years now, the Monday of the fair belongs to the gay community, and 50,000 celebrants join the celebration, turning the day into “Pink Monday.”

The Biggest Fun Fair is one of the biggest seasonal attractions in a city that has seen its overall visitor numbers growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. International travel to Düsseldorf grew by 17% in 2010 over the previous year, and visits by Americans increased by 21%. Many who come here take advantage of the short distances to other destinations, including the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third-largest, offers several non-stop flights from US cities, as well as convenient connections to many European cities and beyond.

For more information on the Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

Special hotel and travel packages for the Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine, starting at € 52 per person, are available through Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH. For more information, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third largest, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit http://www.fly2dus.com.

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