THIS WEEK the world famous Iowa State Fair rages back home. I admit, I would not mind the chance to walk up and down the fair grounds in Des Moines munching on a turkey leg and snickering at the mulletts. I sort of miss the (what’s the right word?)…corny-ness?…but what we lack in Butter Cows and friend Twinkies here in Rhineland-Pfalz we make up for in Winefests.
The perennial, omnipresent Winefest. From spring to summer to fall, all up and down the Deutsch Weinstraßse, communities lay claim to a weekend to celebrate. If wine is part of the culture here, then the winefests in the Pflaz area are the traditions that keep that culture vibrant. There are literally hundreds of Winefests in communities big and small in the area. Just this weekend, for example, there are no less than eleven communities with separate Winefests in about a 50km radius. They range from grand, world renowned events, like the Durkheimer Würstmarkt, to alleyway festivals of neighbors, like the Hambach Jakobskerwe last weekend.
While not the Iowa State fair, they all ring familiar to us by now. Each winefest is unique, but they also follow a cadence. Take the Jakobskerwe last weekend as a case study:
There’s the music, often times a live band:
The candied nuts, always a stand of candied nuts:
Games and rides for the kids….