Since I arrived in Germany almost 6 months ago I kept on hearing about something called Bremer Freimarkt, people kept on telling me how incredible and fun it is and how I should not miss it. Some people even called it the “Oktoberfest of the north”. But what is really the Bremer Freimarkt?
Well, from what I have been able to find out, the Freimarkt (meaning Free Fair) began in the year 1035, making it the oldest Volkfest in Germany, and with over 4 mill. visitors every year, the biggest in Northern Germany. It lasts for 17 days at the end of October and it includes food, drink, and all sorts of fun attractions in two areas, the “Kleiner Freimarkt” located in the Cathedral square and the “Bürgerweide” behind the main station. On the second Saturday of the fesival takes place the “Freimarkstumzug” a small parade, where the most original groups receive an award.
Also, every year, Miss Freimarkt is elected. This lovely lady called Mirjam Klinge was the elected from among 30 candidates for Freimarkt 2012. 2013 Miss Freimarkt will be elected while the festival is on.
Historically, according to the all knowing wikipedia, “on 16 October 1035 Emperor Conrad II gave the “fair justice” to the city of Bremen. In the first centuries it was a free market for one day on 9 October. A showman with a carousel appeared for the first time in 1809.“
That being said, I have to admit that my excitement started building up as soon as I realised they were building it up at the beginning of October, as it just happens to be on my way to and from work. So every day for 2 weeks I passed by the attractions and tents and stalls being set up.
You guessed it right, I love my new phone’s panorama option 🙂 so useful to show you things in perspective!
Anyhow, this past Friday, the festival was kicking off officially at 18:00 (6pm), but I couldn’t wait that long so after work I decided to walk by to check it out once more before the mayhem begins and look who I ran into! Miss Freimarkt herself, followed by a giant crew of cameras and reporters, being the first to try the fun fair!
After the unexpected encouter I decided to explore the premises, and I have to say, it’s looking neat! See for yourself, cloudy but so good.
To my surprise, the Kleiner Freimarkt seemed to be as eager for it all to start as I was, so it was all open and bustling with people, eating, drinking, and having a great time.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay just yet. It was time to head home and get ready to go to the grand opening in the evening, with fireworks and blinking lights and loud music and tastilicious food and drinks. So, a few hours later…
I met with my friend P. and went on to fully experience our first time at the Bremer Freimarkt, or as the locals say, Ischa Freimarkt!
We were greeted by a huge gateway HERZLICH WILLKOMMEN…and let the fun begin.
First, we explored the area, laughing at all the crazy fun things we ran into, and getting excited by all the stuff we wanted to try. It smelled so delicious from every corner that we decided we weren’t allowed to look around anymore or we would end up eating EVERYTHING.
This giant corn stand reminded me of the banana stand from Arrested Development, so obviously could’t go away without a picture!
After a bit of a first exploration, we headed to one of the many drinks’ stands, were we opted for some typical Glühwein (Spiced wine, I’ll write a post about it later on) to warm our poor cold bodies up a little bit. To my surprise it was stronger than I expected and sooo hot I accidentally burnt myself, warning: careful before you drink it!
After warming up, we needed some fuel to go on until the fireworks begin so stopped to get some fries (Pommes) with cheese sauce, such a huge portion was only 3€, not bad for a festival.
The good thing about festival food is that you can keep on walking and having fun while you eat it. Handy! So we did that, we headed with out Pommes towards the best spot to see the fireworks. Music coming from everywhere, the latest hits mixing with German Schlager music and laughter and conversations, the perfect soundtrack to a night of fun.
Our night ended after a beautiful display of fireworks, we were so lucky it was a clear sky!
I would definitely recommend all of you to check this festival out if you find yourself in northern Germany during the month of October, it’s the long lost forgotten cousin of Oktoberfest! Definitely not a disappointing experience!
Have any of you been here before? What was your experience? Do you recommend any other festivals?