Join the excitement at the Funfair
Every July, Dusseldorf celebrates the feast day of Saint Apollinarus, a disciple of St. Peter and the city's patron saint. The city celebrates by hosting a spectacular funfair featuring traditional carousels, modern thrill rides and parades by marching bands and marksmen, followed by a coronation ceremony and grand ball.
What to see at the event
In centuries gone by, this celebration was a time to feast and make merry. This celebration is also where young men could rid themselves of their tax burdens and earn the right to marry a fair maiden by proving themselves as expert marksmen.
Even today, the tradition still holds as the young men of Dusseldorf compete at the funfair to be crowned the "Schutzenkonig." Schutzenkonig is the King of Marksmen, where the winner is the man who best hits a dummy bird raised on a target. Little ones older than 6 also compete as "pages" for the titles of the "young King of Marksmen" and the "King of Pages." At the end of the festival, the winners are crowned and a grand ball is held in their honor. This exhilarating display of tradition and skill shouldn't be missed.
Also not to be missed is the historic procession where more than 3,000 uniformed soldiers, marching bands and horse-drawn carriages make their way through the city to the funfair. On the last Friday, a huge fireworks display takes place to be enjoyed by all.
Although a shrine to Saint Apollinarus is interred at the Church of St. Lambertus, the grand funfair celebrating his canonization is held at the Rhine Meadows in Oberkassel. Oberkassel is just a 10-minute drive or 40-minute walk from the Radisson Blu Hotel Scandinavia, Dusseldorf.