Schützenfest 2013 (Marksmen's Fair)
The world's largest Marksmen's Festival which is one of the most attended public festivals in Germany, is supposed to entice again about one million visitors to Hannover's Schützenplatz (fairground) in 2013.
For ten days, the fairground on the fringes of Hannover’s city centre is transformed into a gigantic pleasure park covering ten hectares. Into the early hours of the morning, good-natured hustle and bustle and an exuberant party atmosphere dominate the festival. Both the marksmen and the general public have cultivated their special ceremonies, which are steeped in tradition, for almost 500 years.
The festival’s highlight is the impressive Marksmen’s Parade, which includes the rifle club members themselves, marching bands, floats and horse-drawn carriages, and has been captivating Hanoverians since the early 17th century. Some 12,000 revellers parade from the Town Hall to the Schützenplatz, or fairground, with up to 200,000 people lining the streets to cheer Europe’s longest festival procession on its way. Dressed in their morning coats and top hats, the event’s four Bruchmeister (another venerable tradition; these are stewards with year-round representative functions) are synonymous with the city’s commitment to social causes.