The largest fair on the Rhine had a record-breaking 4 million visitors last year, but there’s more that keeps growing at Düsseldorf’s annual “Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine,” one of the country’s biggest outdoor summer and beer fests. For 21 years, the presence of the gay and lesbian community at the event has been growing steadily, and these days more than 50,000 show up on the first Monday (2011: July 18) of the 9-day festival to show everyone else, families and kids included, how to have a good time.
Here’s what Pink Monday looks like: Take an enormous German outdoor summer fest, complete with beer tents and treats, a temporary amusement park with huge and modern rides that rival those at Six Flags, along with the families and regular people you’d find there — about 400,000 on a regular day – then add 50,000 LGBTQ visitors on a mission to have a good time.
Everyone gladly surrenders when it’s time for the day of gayness, and vendors and visitors play along. The tents and booths, equipped for a week of family-friendly entertainment, are decorated with pink balloons and rainbow flags. Many visitors wear pink or show up in drag. One of the beer tents turns into a performance space, and the party vibe extends from there into the local nightlife, where it continues into the wee hours. Many of the 50,000 LGBTQ visitors are from the local Rhine-Ruhr region, and the number of international visitors grows every year.
The “Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine” has been around for 500 years and takes place every third week in July (2011 dates: July 15-24). The total number of visitors over the 9 days is more than 4 million, and many who come here take advantage of the short distances to other destinations, including the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne, Belgium, the Netherlands — all in easy reach from Düsseldorf.
For more information on the Largest Fair on the Rhine, visit: www.visitduesseldorf.de.
Special hotel and travel packages for the Largest Fair on the Rhine, starting at € 52 per person, are available through Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH. For more information, visit www.visitduesseldorf.de.
Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit www.visitduesseldorf.de.
Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third largest, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit www.fly2dus.com.