More Germany events near you in February

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Pferdemarkt
Feb. 7 – 11 in Leonberg

You don’t need to be in the market for a new horse to enjoy the “Pferdemarkt,” a lively outdoor celebration in this town just 10 miles west of Stuttgart that got its start way back in 1684. Highlights of this tradition-rich event include the storming of the Town Hall from 11:11 a.m. on Sun., Feb. 9, followed by Guggenmusik concerts made up of costumed bands loudly playing brass, pipes and drums. The downtown stores are open on this day as well. On Tues, Feb. 11, visitors turn out in droves to witness the sight of dozens of handsome horses at the market place and horse-drawn carriages at the riding stadium. At 2 p.m., a colorful parade rolls its way through the Old Town. Other things to do here include checking out the assortment of goods on sale at the market or taking a ride on one of the attractions. Entry to the festivities is free.

IMOT - International Motorcycle Exhibition
Feb. 14 – 16 in Munich

For the motorcycle enthusiasts, head to Munich, the site of one of Germany’s biggest exhibitions of its kind. For three days, fans of two-wheeled fun can check out the latest models from all the big makers, see what’s new in terms of gear and accessories, or take in a show or two. The exhibition takes place at the MOC München, Lilienthalallee 40, 80939 München-Freimann. If taking public transportation, take the U6 U-Bahn line to the Kieferngarten stop. Visiting hours are 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. each day. Entry costs 16 euros adults, 4 euros for ages 12 to 18 and is free for those under the age of 12.

International Guggenmusik Meet Up
Feb. 15 – 16 in Schwäbisch Gmünd

Guggenmusik is hard to describe, but once you hear it, you won’t forget it. Its oddly discordant but mesmerizing sound fills the streets of postcard-perfect Schwäbisch Gmünd for two days, as some 20 bands made up of more than 800 musicians hailing from Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany meet up to do their thing. Once thoroughly chilled, head into one of the town’s pubs, where the atmosphere’s bound to be buzzing too. The music starts at 11 a.m. both days, and entry is free.

Hallia Venezia
Feb. 16 in Schwäbisch Hall

Always dreamed of visiting Venice at carnival? If you can’t make it all the way to Italy, check out this event reminiscent of the celebrations staged there. Here, masked and costumed beauties will strike poses as they roam through the streets of the beautiful Old Town. The mysterious figures can be seen between noon and 4 p.m. At 2 p.m., the mysterious figures will gather on the steps of the St. Michael’s Church, surely a worthy photo op. Entry is free.

Witches Competition
Feb. 21 in Feldberg

It’s free to ski at the Feldberg Ski Resort today, under one condition: you come dressed as a witch. But not just any witch. Feldberg witches must have brooms, a witch nose, a skirt with an apron, a headscarf and a hat. All winter sports enthusiasts who come dressed up in the proper garb will receive a complimentary day pass. The pass can be picked up between the hours of 8:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. only at the ticket offices of the Seebuck, Grafenmatt or Fahl lift stations. Skiers will need to keep these costumes on as they ski, and if they don’t, they forfeit the pass. At 3 p.m., there’s free punch and a Guggenmusik concert by the igloo at Seebuck.

Carnival Parade
Feb. 23 in Frankfurt

In contrast to most of the area’s parades that take place on Rose Monday, Frankfurt gets a jump on things by hosting its big hurrah a day earlier. Lavishly decorated floats, marching bands and dance ensembles animate the thousands of spectators, who themselves often turn up in costume. Kids will enjoy catching all the candy tossed their way, so bring a big bag to put it in. The parade sets off from Untermainkai at 12:21 p.m. and passes by the pretty half-timbered houses of the Römerberg just under an hour later. Entry is free.

Carnival Parade
Feb. 23 in Wiesbaden

Granted there are bigger parades to see, but for those not up for traveling long distances, this one offers all the marching bands, cheerleaders, crazy floats and costumed characters tossing candy to the eager crowds that make up the recipe for a memorable day out. Don’t forget to bring a bag for all the loot the kids will be scooping up. The parade will set off from Elsässer Platz at 1:11 p.m. and some 220 participating groups will start making their jaunty way through Wiesbaden's city center shortly thereafter.

Dance of the Market Women
Feb. 25 in Munich

Shrove Tuesday in Munich signals it’s time for one of the city’s most beloved carnival traditions to play out. Munich’s Fasching wouldn’t be complete without the dance routines performed by women employed at Munich’s “Viktualienmarkt.” Some 10 to 15 brightly costumed ladies typically perform the steps they’ve been practicing for months beforehand. The dance takes place at 10:30 a.m., but the revelry in this downtown hotspot lasts late into the day.

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