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Sterkrader Fronleichnamskirmes

The six-day traditional carnival in Oberhausen-Sterkrade is one of the most popular and largest in Germany. Over one million visitors are attracted to the fair every year on Corpus Christi. With around 400 performers, it is the second-largest in the Ruhr region.

Since 1993, the fair has been starting on the ‘eve of the fair’, as Oberhausen residents call the Wednesday before Corpus Christi. From 2 p.m. onwards, you can wander around the fair and look at the many stalls, rides and attractions. The official opening takes place at 5 p.m. when the Lord Mayor of the city of Oberhausen taps the first barrel of the fair.

This ritual proves that this is a carnival with history. The Sterkrade Corpus Christi Fair has taken place in Oberhausen since 1829 – so we haven’t got long to wait until its 200th anniversary. Lots of carnival performer families maintain that if you count the centuries-old Corpus Christi fairs as its predecessors, the fair is actually already over 700 years old.

On Corpus Christi itself, you can see the close links that the church has to the fair: at 8.40 a.m., a large procession wends its way from St. Bernardus Church to the festival grounds where a traditional church service takes place at 9 a.m.

The rides for young and old range from classic carousels to pendulum-style, swing or drop rides. Of course, there are also dodgem cars, wild-water rides and rollercoasters as well as a Ferris wheel. Your appetite will also be well catered for with Belgian fries, crêpes and chocolate fruit. And we at the Schmalhaus ice cream factory have also been attending the fair with our homemade ice cream for the past 100 years.

A couple of tips for getting there: parking is free of charge at the car park on Eugen-zur-Nieden-Ring. If you are coming via public transport, get a STOAG-Kirmes-Ticket: not only will this enable you to travel for free on the bus and train, but you will get some vouchers with free rides and fair discounts as well. We are also taking part with a €0.50 discount on a tasty portion of fresh ice cream of your choice.

We look forward to your visit to our ice cream stand at the historic Corpus Christi Fair! 


Die Cranger Kirmes – The Funfair of Crange

The “Cranger Kirmes” in Herne, right in the heart of the Ruhr area, is one of the biggest funfairs in Germany. It always starts on the first Thursday in August, and in the course of the eleven days it traditionally lasts, attracts some four million visitors to the fairground site in its lovely location beside the Rhine-Herne Canal. And clearly, the best overview of the event can be obtained from the big wheel, which lifts its visitors to a height of 60 metres into the air.

When exactly the Cranger Kirmes was born is not now known. However, some time in the 15th century, it became the custom for a horse fair to be held around St. Lawrence’s Day (August 10th) in Crange, which now forms part of the city of Herne. The horse dealers were soon joined by jugglers, dancers, magicians and fortune tellers – laying the foundations for the funfair of today.

With the industrialization and the growth of mining in the Ruhr area, the Cranger Kirmes also grew from year to year. Today, next to the Oktoberfest in Munich, it is the second-biggest event for the funfair business.

In the Ruhr area, the showmen feel a special sense of closeness of the local people to “their” fair. When work starts in July on setting up the rides and stalls on the 111,000 square metre site by the canal, crowds of people come to watch every day. By the time everything is ready, around 500 showmen will be presenting their attractions and wares – and visitors who want to see everything will have to walk a distance of no less than five kilometres. So a single visit is usually far from enough!

For the people of Herne themselves, the Cranger Kirmes is a major event: It counts as a “5th season”, has absolute cult status and is firmly anchored in public life in the city and the region.

So make sure to: Piel op no Crange! Come to the Fair!