Hoppengarten: Brandenburg Day 2016

Germany is known for its many street markets and festivals throughout the year.  Next month I will begin my exploration of the Christmas Markets.  I can hardly wait for them to begin on November 30th, but in the summer and fall several beer festivals and of course Oktoberfest celebrations take place starting in August through October.  German Unity Day is a national holiday observed on October 3rd which celebrates the Reunification of East and West Germany dating back to October 1990 after the Berlin Wall came down.  It is common to hear the sound of celebrations and fireworks all around the city especially near the Brandenburg Gate during that time of year.

hoppengarten-band Today I am featuring one of my favorite festivals so far, the Hoppengarten, Germany Brandenburg Day Festival 2016  which takes place on or around September 3rd and 4th.  If you enjoy watching horse races, perusing stalls in search of authentic craftsmanship, trying out local food, and listening to great music, this is a fine place to indulge.

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Hoppengarten is about a 45 minute train ride east of Berlin’s City Center.  Upon arrival at the station you hear the sounds of classic Rock-n-Roll and Pop Tunes, accompanied by the delicious aroma of currywurst, sausages, schnitzel, baking pretzels, and fresh bread.  Anthony Bordain I am not, but smoked horse meat and jerky are also available for the adventurous eater.

 

 

Once you have your fill of browsing among the local vendors you can sit in the shade at the beer garden next to the Windmill for a quick refreshment before moving on to the concert area which is in the middle of the Rennbahn Hoppengarten racetrack.

 

The Rennbahn Hoppengarten is a 148 year old racetrack larger than Churchill Downs in both size and pageantry.  With a 207 Hectares land area, it is the largest and best land-based racetrack and training center in Germany.  The racing patrons put on their finest attire for a day at the races with women wearing Gucci and Prada and sporting the popular Fascinator hats.   Men dress in the styles of Tom Ford and others to compliment whatever the ladies are wearing.  Of course, the typical festival patron is not required to adhere to this dress code, so casual dress is common and acceptable.  Races take place throughout the day until concert time with local singing artist and musicians performing on the middle green during racing intervals.

The main concert featured artist such as Rock n Roll entertainer Mongo Jerry who covered many classic hits (German and American) and got the crowd out of their seats dancing to familiar tunes.  Another noteworthy artist was Frida Gold, an up and coming German Pop Singer.  Last, but not least was Tim Bendzko.  Tim is a Hoppengarten local resident, and also a huge Pop star in Germany.  The crowd went wild as he sang his greatest hits.  Even though I didn’t understand the words very well because I don’t speak fluent German, I had a great time dancing along with my German and Latvian friends.

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The evening ended at midnight with a fantastic combination of fireworks and laser light show. You may be wondering about the entry fee to such a delightful and fun-filled day.  I am pleased to report that the entry to the festival and concert are both free to the public, so take only enough money for food, refreshments, and the treasures you find at the vendor kiosks.

If you choose to visit Hoppengarten’s Brandenburg Day Celebration in the future, be sure to bring a light jacket since the nights tend to get a little chilly this time of year, and bring a blanket or lawn chair if you would like to be near the stage since seating is limited to the grandstand area.

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Large viewing screens are set up on either side of the stage for watching the musicians on video opposed to being up close and personal.  Binoculars are also an option if you have a pair.  If you get a chance to attend Brandenburg Day 2017 in Hoppengarten, I hope you will enjoy your time there as much as I did.

23 thoughts on “Hoppengarten: Brandenburg Day 2016

  1. I have always wanted to visit Germany. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. Reading it has increased my curiosity and desire to see this beautiful and fun filled area of Germany.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is only a taste of life in Germany. There is so much more than what I could ever attempt to cover in this blog, but I appreciate your interest very much. Curiosity which leads to the discovery of new ideas and interests is often a good thing. I hope you will have an opportunity to act on it sometime soon. This blog is intended to spark curiosity and provide insight for all travelers, and I welcome any questions or suggestions that will make it more useful for you and others with similar interests.

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    1. Oktoberfest in Germany is a bit like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It is the time of year for revelry and fun, so if those are things that interest you, Germany is the place to be in September and October. Thank you for the compliment on the pictures; fortunately, there is usually a postcard opportunity waiting around every corner of this beautiful country. I’m glad you have enjoyed them. I appreciate your interest in the items I’ve posted, and if you would like more information please let me know. Best of luck in your future travel adventures.

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  2. Oh….christmas markets….it’s all about mulled wine and food. That is the place to go out with friends and families.
    Germans are in general found of different markets and open air festivals…the main thing is to have good and plenty of beer, tasty food and happy music. And that is already a reason to put on the ‘dirndl’ (traditional clothes) and celeberate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you bring up mulled wine. The traditional one for this area is Gluewein, and I hope to have a great recipe to include in a future post. If you have a favorite recipe I would love to feature it here, and I look forward to sharing your enthusiasm for German markets with all the trimmings. Another great idea you’ve given is traditional clothing. I will do my best to provide information on how and where to find it. Thank you so much for your comment and interest Rasa. Any suggestions you make for later topics are always appreciated.

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    1. Thank you, and I apologize for the lapse. I hope you had a wonderful holiday break. I will be back in action soon with more information on great travel locations. Cheers in 2017!

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    1. Thanks for your interest. It is always a pleasure to share information about the places I’ve been, so I am doubly glad that you have enjoyed reading. Cheers for the New Year! New posts are coming soon.

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  3. I do not even understand how I stopped up right here, however I thought this put up used to be
    good. I don’t recognize who you’re however certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already.

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