A Saturday in Hesse

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(Ignore this, dear reader, it’s just a technorati claim code. I’ll delete it once the claiming process is over and done with.)

Many small towns in Germany have a history of putting on festivals designed to get the community spirit flowing and to give local clubs, businesses, and other institutions a bit of exposure. Sometimes even individual city neighborhoods put on their own festivals, and so it is with our neighborhood in Kassel, which is celebrating its 62nd annual “Kirmes” this weekend.

These pictures were taken from our little French balcony which overlooks the street. Kassel suffered severe damage during the war with many historic buildings being destroyed and later replaced by architecturally unattractive buildings. The houses across from ours, some of which you can just see on the right hand side of the above photo, are turn of the century apartment buildings (like ours) which remained unharmed by bombings.

You gotta have a brass band (this was one of about 10.)

No parade's complete without a quaint horse carriage.

It just wouldn't be a German parade without a free-beer opportunity ("Freibier" in German), this time served out of a vintage car. As you can see people just walk in from the side of the street and grab a beer.

This go-cart contraption had a base built out of a, wait for it, beer crate...

...and yes, it also pulls beer! Isn't this a vehicle everyone should own? No need for a big parking space and you've got all you need with you.

You should probably eat something if you're going to drink all that beer, so grab a free sausage from the, um, tractor...

Are you about ready for another beer?

I'm not sure we've had enough percussion yet. Oh, wait.

Parades are messy affairs, so it's best to have your garbage trucks forming the tail end of the parade as they follow the floats through the streets.

Not bad for an afternoon’s entertainment that you didn’t need to leave the balcony for.

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