Copyright by: Joachim Schall ©
The Cannstatt Volksfest is now coming to an end, and after two weeks of beer being sold by “Maß”, it’s about time for something new, don‘t you agree? Following the lines of this little bit of Swabian advice “Wein nach Bier, das rat ich dir!”, which means something along the lines of “Wine after beer and you‘re in the clear”, the Fellbacher Herbst festival starts on the second weekend of October, and the last weekend of the Volksfest. The Fellbacher Herbst is one of the largest Thanksgiving and wine festivals of the region, and it is expected to draw in around 200,000 visitors over the course of 4 days—which is understandable because this festival has a lot to offer, for those big and small!
The Fellbacher Herbst Festival dates all the way back to 1948, although back then it was quite a bit smaller. Over the years the celebration has grown both in fame, and in size, but it has managed to retain its traditional charming nature. One of the festivals most charming features is the large Saturday parade it hosts on opening weekend. Today visitors flock from all over to attend the festival, and you‘ll meet people from Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Esslingen and from the Remstal. The 4 days on which it takes place are truly a lively and colorful party. Of course, the traditional parts of the program like the parade and “Open Shopping Sunday”, are the two main attractions which draw the largest crowds.
On Thursday, October 5th, the day before the Fellbacher Herbst festival even begins, the Fellbach vineyards of the Fellbacher Weingaertner eG host a huge wine tasting in the Schwabenlandhalle. This event is exclusively happening in German only, and if you are interested, you can acquire tickets through the Weingaertnergenossenschaft. You can either contact them through the contact form on their website www.fellbacher-weine.de or call them at 0711/578803-13.
The Fellbacher Herbst Festival then officially opens up on Friday the 6th at 1400h and the rides, as well as many wine booths where you can enjoy a nice sip of wine, will remain open until late into the evening. This festival spreads all the way across the Kongresshuegel, the Schwabenlandhalle to the courtyard of the Rathaus, and the courtyard by the Entenbruennele – between Esslinger street and the Kongress hotel and all the way behind the hotel is where you‘ll find most of the rides, lottery ticket booths, food and snack booths, and various sale stands. Right after that, you‘ll see the wine tents and the wine fountain in the pavilion between the Schwabenlandhalle and the Musicschool. You should definitely indulge in some of the local culinary delights, such as a glass of new wine and a slice of onion cake from the food stands… they are to die for! Beware though, especially if you are driving, new wine does contain alcohol, and sometimes, depending on its stage of fermentation, even more so than regular wine. There will be plenty of alcohol checks conducted by the police on that weekend, so DO NOT drink and drive. New wine starts with very little alcohol and tastes more like sweet grape juice, but as soon as you can feel it sparkling you have to be a little cautious, then the new wine is called “Raes” or “Federweisser” depending on the area. You probably shouldn’t drink too much of the new wine, as it goes straight to your head and tends to stay a little longer then intended. As mentioned before, this is the place to be for the wine tents and food stands, where you can enjoy delicious food and a nice drink and some great live music. Additionally, you can find more stages with live music, when you continue walking towards the Entenbruennele, in the courtyard of the Rathaus and in the Kunstkeller, which is located at the edge of the fest, at Cannstatter Str.9. There will be plenty of food and wine stands along the live music stages, I can promise you so far, no one has ever starved or died of thirst at the Fellbacher Herbst Festival. Just remember this is a winefest, so beer will be hard to find! But plenty of wine, cocktails and alcohol-free drinks will be available all over!
The parade on Saturday should be on your must-see list. It starts on the “neuen Kelter am Kappelberg” and ends after several loops though town, at the Schwabenlandhalle. The participants of the parade are from different clubs, or marching bands, and you‘ll also see city elders, and vineyard owners and their decorated wagons and floats. As with most parades, candy will be given out, and if you are lucky, you might even be able to get some great wine, that is, if you have a glass handy. The mayor will officially declare that the festival has begun after the parade.
At 12:30 on Sunday, the “Open Sunday” for shops and stores will begin. There will be plenty of sales and events going on, especially for kids! It begins at the Main train station and will continue all the way into the fest area. All your culinary needs should be covered too. In the Cannstatter Str. is where the artisan and craft mile will be located, where you can find exceptionally hand crafted items. This will be going on until 17:30, but you really should stick around, because at 20:30 the fireworks and live music will start. The best place to be for that, would probably be at the park of the Schwabenlandhalle, since the fireworks are being launched from the roof of the hall. So get there early to find yourself a cozy little spot with a good view.
Monday will be the fall parade for the little ones. After meeting up at the parking lot of the Zeppelinschule, located at Thomas-Mann-Str. 51, the kids will walk through the town carrying Lanterns, torches and playing music; all the way to the Max-Graser-Stadium. You do not need to register for the kid’s parade if you wish to participate, just be sure to show up on time, 18:30 at the meeting point listed above. Traditionally Monday is also family day at the festival, so it’s well worth it to let the kids finish of the evening with some fun rides.
Fellbach is easily reached by public transportation, so leaving your car at home is a great option and makes it easy to remember to not drink and drive! Again, I‘ll remind you that there will be plenty of police checks to make sure no one is getting into their vehicle intoxicated.
To get to the fest, take the S-Bahn line 2 (towards Schorndorf) or line 3 (towards Backnang) and then, after leaving the train station in Fellbach, jump onto the bus line 60 (towards Untertuerkheim) and get off after 4 stops, at “Lutherkirche” which will drop you off right in the middle of the Rathauscourtyard-- right by tasty wine and good live music...Of course, this won’t be needed on Sunday since the fest starts at the Bahnhof on that day! You can also take the subway U-1 to the stop “Schwabenlandhalle”, and that will drop you off right at all the rides.
For questions, please feel free to contact the staff members of the I-Punkt of the Townhall at 0711/57561-415.
I hope you have lots of fun!