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The Straubing Gäubodenvolksfest 2017

Bavaria's second-largest beer festival is said to be even more traditional than the Munich Oktoberfest

Straubinger Gäuboden Festival

The Gäubodenfest - or Gäubodenvolksfest - in Straubing takes place from 11. to the 21. August and thus marks the start of the festival season in Bavaria. The fun fair has its roots in the year 1812 when it started out as a festival of the agricultural associations. The highlights then were quite different from today's, as there were a confirmation show, horse races, and a show for cultivation novelties. Since then the Gäubodenfest has developed into Bavaria's second-largest "Volksfest", with an average of more than 1 Million visitors per year. As opposed to the Munich Oktoberfest the guests at the Gäubodenvolksfest come mainly from Straubing's surrounding region, the so called Gäuboden. This fact adds to the more traditional appeal of the Gäubodenfest.

Apart from the beer tents and fun fair, there is also the annual "Ostbayernschau", a consumer show with a strong agricultural emphasis. It is a very popular show offering anything from household equipment to the latest in farm machinery. The Ostbayernschau takes place from 12. to 20. August and is situated right next to the fun fair.

There are a range of events accompagnying the Gäubodenfest. First of all there is the traditional costume parade called "Exit of the Landlords" - meaning that the inn owners are leaving their houses to now be a tent landlord. The parade takes place on 11. August. It starts at 5:30 pm in the Straubing city center. The route is as follows: Landshuter Straße - Bahnhofstraße - Stadtgraben - Ludwigstor - Ludwigsplatz - Theresienplatz - Kinseherberg - Festplatz Am Hagen. Another popular event during the Gäuboden-festival is the "Lampionfahrt" on River Danube. Boats with lampions and other illuminations float by and fireworks put a colorful end to this evening event. The best places to watch this is close to Straubing's Herzogsschloss, the castle at the River Danube. The Lampionfahrt starts on Thursday, 17. August at 9:10 pm.

And last but not least some facts about the Gäubodenvolksfest: There are seven beer tents which offer seats for more than 26.000 people. Tents are open daily from 11:00 am to 0:30 am. Prices for a liter of beer (which is the only size offered in the tents, the Bavarian word for a one-litre-beer-mug is "Mass") are around 9,10 € which is considerably cheaper than the 10,00 € and more that visitors have to spend at the Oktoberfest. There are more than 120 carousels and other fun rides, ranging from nostalgic merry-go-rounds to modern breathtaking thrill rides. The Gäubodenfest ends with a big fireworks display at 10:00 pm on the evening of 21. August.

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