When to Go
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When to Go
The wine-festival season begins in March with the Mandelblüten (blossoming of the almond trees) along the Wine Road and continues through October. By May the vines' tender shoots and leaves appear. As the wine harvest progresses in September and October, foliage takes on reddish-golden hues.
Brezelfest. Beer and pretzels are central to this annual six-day celebration, held the second weekend in July in Speyer. Other highlights include carnival rides and games, and a grand parade. Festplatz, Speyer, 67346. www.brezelfest-speyer.de.
Deidesheim Weinkerwe. For 10 days in August, the wine town of Deidesheim fills up with stalls where visitors can sample local wines and hearty cuisine. Deidesheim's wineries also stay open late, offering live entertainment most nights during the festival. Marktplatz, Deidesheim, 67146.
Deutsches Weinlesefest. In Neustadt, the German Wine Queen is crowned during this 10-day wine festival in early October. The festival includes the largest wine festival parade in Germany and a huge fireworks display on the final night. Near Neustadt train station, Neustadt, 67433. www.neustadt.eu/Wein-Tourismus/Deutsches-Weinlesefest.
Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt. The Pfalz is home to the world's largest wine festival, held in Bad Dürkheim in mid-September. Some 400,000 pounds of sausage are consumed during eight days of merrymaking. Sankt-Michaels-Allee 1, Bad Dürkheim, 67098. www.duerkheimer-wurstmarkt.de.
Mainzer Johannisnacht. Live performances from local and international bands, as well as theater and cabaret performances, are done on six stages in the city center in late June. Since the festival is at least nominally in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, printers' apprentices are also dunked in water as part of a "printers' baptism" ceremony in front of the Gutenberg Museum. Various locations, Mainz, 55116. www.johannisnacht.de.
Wormser Backfischfest. Carnival rides, traditional folk music and dance, jousting on the Rhine, and fireworks create a jovial atmosphere at this annual festival, starting in late August, which honors the city's fishermen. Don't pass up the chance to taste more than 400 wines at the festival's Wonnegauer Wine Cellar. Festplatz, Worms, 67547. www.backfischfest.de. Late Aug.–early Sept.
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