The Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest is the largest European spring festival and is celebrating its 77th year at the Cannstatter Wasen. The Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest (aka Stuttgart Spring Festival) is one of the most-anticipated events of the year and attracts roughly 1.5 million visitors from near and far during its 3-week long run.
Much like the Cannstatter Wasen (the autumn counterpart to the Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest), the festival boasts beer tents, food stands, games, haunted houses, ferris wheels, swings, bumper cars, rides and stomach-flipping roller coasters for the young and the young at heart. Tickets for entry into the beer tents can sell out quickly so only the most dedicated and organized of the Spring Festival fans gain access to the rowdy and music-filled beer tents. Inside visitors can drink Maße (aka beer steins), sing traditional songs and eat roasted chicken to their hearts’ content.
S and I didn’t get a chance to go to the Stuttgart Spring Festival last year so we definitely wanted to visit this year. Last weekend S’s brother was in town visiting us and we thought it would be a fun outing, especially since he hasn’t spent much time in Stuttgart before.
We took the S-Bahn to the Cannstatter Wasen stop and followed the hoards of Tracht-wearing festival goers toward the entrance of the festival which is only about 200 metres away. Since S and I have been to the Cannstatter Wasen before, we had an idea of what to expect – ginormous rides, food stands galore and crowds of happy people. I loved seeing my brother-in-law’s face as we entered the festival – total wonderment! (I think he had the idea that we were going to some tiny local affair with one sausage stand and a ride or two, not the largest spring festival in Europe).
We walked around for a few hours taking in the atmosphere and admiring all the different kinds of Dirndls and Lederhosen. Tracht (ie. traditional German dress) had become increasingly trendy to wear in the last few years and I’m always amazed by the variety (especially of the Dirndls) – long, short, mini, flowered, checkered, ornate, you name it. The accompanying women’s hairstyles are also quite impressive – I have never seen so many elaborate and intricate braids in my life. I kind of wish I had a Dirndl to wear to festivals like these so I could get in on the fun…maybe I’ll get one soon.
There were endless choices of food to be found – S and his brother got Pommes rot–weiß (ie. fries with ketchup and mayonnaise – ‘red white’) and I tried a Lángos, a Hungarian deep fried flatbread. The hardest part was picking which topping to get since you can choose all kinds of sweet or savoury Lángos. In the end, I went for sour cream and cheese. Let’s just say that it was probably the best thing I have eaten since we were eating our way around Berlin.
Because deep-fried bread is not enough of a calorie bomb, S and I decided to get chocolate-covered fruit sticks for dessert. I got strawberry pineapple and he went for plain pineapple. If you’ve never had one of these chocolate fruit sticks at a festival in Germany, then you’re missing out.
The festival has been running since April 18 and will end tomorrow, May 10, so there’s still time to go!
Tip: Bring cash, wear your Dirndl or Lederhosen (if you have one) and prepare for crowds on the final festival weekend!