By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Bauernfest, known as a celebration of the German roots of Petrópolis, will see its final weekend on July 6th and 7th in Rio de Janeiro state’s mountainous region. To enjoy German sausages, traditional dances and German beer, visit this historic city outside Rio.
The Bauernfest (peasant party), or festa alemã (German celebration), a ten-day celebration that goes on from June 28th until July 7th, is a commemoration of all things German. It is the second largest festivity of this kind, after the Oktoberfest in Blumenau, located in the southern state of Santa Catarina.
The 24th edition of the Bauernfest will bring a special tour of the town’s Bohemia beer brewery and several beer tasting events. The food stalls around the festivity’s central area, the Crystal Palace, will have German specialties such as sausages, sauerkraut and apple strudel on sale. The festival will also feature traditional German music and folklore dance shows.
Last year, over 350,000 visitors made their way to Petrópolis to discover and celebrate their German roots. Visitors will be accompanied by a royal court this year, led by the German party’s king and queen.
Highlights of the program on Saturday include the beer tasting at 10AM in the Crystal Palace, several dance shows on the Koblenz stage during the afternoon and the Bauernband, offering a selection of German music at 7:30PM.
On Sunday, there will be a traditional parade, with people and children dressed in traditional German dirndls and dresses starting at 10:30AM. Bands will play folklore music throughout the entire day and at 3PM, renowned Grimms’ fairy tales will be told.
Petrópolis is known for housing the former summer residence of Brazil’s imperial family, who receded to the mountain town because of its milder climate. However, the city also has rich German history, as many German immigrants were called to work on the surrounding farmlands and to build the city’s houses.
In 1846, about 1,921 of the town’s 2,101 settlers were Germans, mostly from the Rhineland. This is why neighborhoods and squares were named after German places.
A bus operated by Única Fácil, which leaves from the Novo Rio central bus station, will take German culture enthusiasts to Petrópolis from Rio in 1.5 hours for R$20. Once at the Petrópolis bus station, city bus number 100, the “Central,” will take visitors to the town’s center in thirty minutes.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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