The family-friendly folk festival
|September| A folk festival with appeal for both families and party-lovers: A great choice of rides, especially for kids, live music and hot-dog stalls await visitors young and old
Alongside the Rheinkirmes fair, which likes to call itself “the largest fair on the Rhine”, there is another highlight in the annual fair calendar that takes place not far from NRW’s capital city of Düsseldorf. The Haaner Kirmes (Haan Fair) has its own special attractions and counts as one of the most traditional folk festivals in North Rhine-Westphalia. It takes place over four days in late September and draws around 400,000 visitors to its fair grounds every year.
Around 200 fairground entertainment families pitch their tents in the centre of Haan in early autumn, offering a colourful mix of thrilling rides and stalls selling all manner of tasty snacks. Visitors intent on having a good time are well catered for with live music and DJ sets.
The fair as a family attraction
The Haan Fair is above all known as a family-friendly event, with plenty to entertain and amuse the little ones every day. The highlights last time out included 13 children’s rides and a Punch and Judy show.
There is a lot to take in: If all the rides and stalls of the Haan Fair were arranged side by side, they would stretch along a distance of almost two kilometres.
A history dating back to 1715
The original folk festival which evolved into the Haan Fair over the centuries was itself a large affair. The main street going through the town was exceptionally wide even in medieval times – together with the old market square, it was able to accommodate a 10,000-strong Carolingian army.
Documents on baking and brewing weights and measures dating back to 1386 show that a type of fair was held in Haan at the time, offering provisions and momentary good cheer to resting armies. It was not until 1715 that a document made official mention of a “fair”. Nonetheless, researchers believe that the roots of the Haan Fair go all the way back to the 9th or even the 8th century.
School’s out on Fair Monday
Nowadays, the event has all the trappings of a modern funfair. The opening Saturday is celebrated with free beer and non-alcoholic drinks, gun salutes and the release of hundreds of balloons.
Monday has always been a special holiday during the fair. Public life in Haan comes to a complete standstill, the kids have a day off school, and all the banks, businesses and offices shut at midday so that everyone can head to the fair and make the most of the day!