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Forget Oktoberfest. Here's why you should visit Cannstatter Volksfest instead

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Forget Oktoberfest. Here's why you should visit Cannstatter Volksfest instead
A waitress carrying mugs of beer at the Canstatter Volksfest in 2005. Photo: DPA
13:57 CEST+02:00
While the opening of Germany’s largest festival in Munich has been dominating the headlines over the past week, here’s a knees-up in Stuttgart which kicks off on Friday that’s smaller, cheaper and more laid back.

The 172nd Cannstatter Volksfest - otherwise known as Stuttgart’s famous Wasen and Germany’s second largest funfair - launches on Friday and ends three weeks later on October 8th.

Similar to last year, around four million visitors are expected to attend the festival, many of them clad in traditional clothing such as Dirndls and Lederhosen. There’s no dress code though, so don’t stress out if you’d prefer to show up in the clothes you’re comfortable in.

Just like Munich’s Oktoberfest, large quantities of golden brew and gingerbread hearts will also be on offer along with roller coaster rides and lots of singing while standing atop beer hall benches.

But at the Wasen there will likely be more locals, the ambience will be cozier and the beer will be cheaper - what more could you want?

Inside a beer tent at the Canstatter Volksfest in 2011. Photo: DPA.

Whereas a typical Maß (a one-litre mug full of beer) will set you back nearly €11 at Oktoberfest, the same thing will cost you at least €0,50 cheaper at the Volksfest.

At Oktoberfest you’ll also need around 10 people to reserve a table in one of the beer tents. Meanwhile at the Wasen a minimum of about five people is necessary to make a table reservation. Not to mention there are still actually reservations available. Popular beer tents include Grandls, der Göckelesmaier, and der Wasenwirt.

New carnival rides have been added to the 2017 edition of the Wasen, too. One new ride called “The Flyer” whips passengers high up into the air at speeds of 70 kilometres per hour. Another new addition is “Apollo 13,” a ride that looks like a space shuttle and boosts passengers up to dizzying - and gut-wrenching - heights.

"Every year we want to offer our guests something new” while preserving the “charm and tradition” of the largest festival in southwestern Germany," said event organizer Andreas Kroll.

This is probably why people just can’t get enough of it. Last year, the Cannstatter Volksfest welcomed one million visitors in its opening weekend alone - twice as many as the number of people who attended Oktoberfest 2016 in its first weekend.

All the more reason to get your booze on as well as your fill of south German culture now before the Volksfest gets as popular as Oktoberfest (fingers crossed it never does).

Further perks include two days during its 17-day run dedicated to families, with reduced prices in all areas of the festival. Also on the programme is a musical fireworks display in the evening on the Cannstatter Wasen’s last day to wrap things up.

With DPA

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