Corona crisis City of Bonn cancels Pützchens Markt 2020

Bonn · The city council Bonn cancelled this year's Pützchens market because of the Corona pandemic. With this decision, the city wants to give all the affected parties planning security at an early stage. The total number of infections in Bonn is 579.

 Pützchen's market will not happen in 2020.

Pützchen's market will not happen in 2020.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Mayor Ashok Sridharan on Tuesday cancelled the 653rd Puetzchens Market, which was scheduled to take place from 11 to 15 September. With this decision, the city of Bonn wants to give all the affected parties planning security at an early stage.

"Puetzchens Markt is by far the biggest event in Bonn and one of the most popular ones in the city's annual calendar. But in the end we had no other choice, because we have to continue to protect the people", said Sridharan, who made the decision in consultation with Beuel's district mayor Guido Déus and the showmen. Sridharan also thanked the Friends of Pützchens Markt for their cooperative attitude in this matter.

Déus explained that the mayor and he had held talks with many experts and affected people in the past days. It had become clear that a responsible decision in the current situation can only lead to a cancellation. "We are just as aware of the consequences of the decision for showmen and associations as we are also of the disappointed hopes of many people for a positive outcome," Déus told the GA. The two politicians now want to work towards finding compensation for the showmen for the year 2021, so that at least part of the lost income for this year can be made up. The Bonn city administration is to work out proposals as soon as possible.

Peter Barth, chairman of the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Euskirchen Showmen Association, called the decision of the city of Bonn "from today's point of view" the right one. "Nobody knows what the situation will be like in mid-September. But we need planning security now", said Barth, who represents around 60 organised fairground companies in the region.

The 58-year-old is worried about his industry: "We have not yet earned a cent this year. Many colleagues are already running out of money. I call on the Federal Government to plan a rescue package especially for showmen. If financial aid is not forthcoming soon from the federal and state governments, traditional companies will have to give up. "I know some colleagues who are already filling shelves in supermarkets or working with their tractors for haulage companies to feed their families," says Barth, who has been working in the show business for more than 40 years.

Appeal of the carny folk festival organisers

When asked when, in his opinion, folk festivals and fun fairs may be happening again, he replied: "Nobody knows at present. Probably only when there is a vaccine and the citizens are vaccinated." But Barth does not want to give up hope: "As soon as the corona numbers allow it, I can imagine that children's parties and smaller events can be held again. I consider funfairs as a therapy against mental and economic corona damage to be a very suitable means, because funfairs bring joy to people“.

The German Showmen's Association (DSB) appealed to all festival organisers on Tuesday that the end of the Munich Oktoberfest should not automatically mean the end of all German folk festivals. The Oktoberfest is not representative of the other 9750 German folk festivals.

The reason: The Munich Oktoberfest is a festival of superlatives. The numbers alone would prove that: six million visitors over 18 days, 400,000 guests daily, large marquees that would provide space for 140,000 people. "We ask that these structural differences be taken into account. The cancellation of the Oktoberfest should not be an indicator that other public festivals in Germany will be forced to cancel from the end of August onwards, either urgently or prematurely. The festivals are of existential importance for the showmen and for the local population they are a central anchor of their social and cultural coexistence," explained a spokesman for the association in Berlin. This appeal came too late for Pützchen's market.

And there is another event cancellation: The houses of the Museum Mile - the König Research Museum, the Haus der Geschichte, the Kunstmuseum, the Bundeskunsthalle and the Deutsches Museum Bonn - have agreed that the Museum Mile Festival planned for 6 and 7 June will be cancelled due to the Corona Pandemic.

More people in the pedestrian zone

"We must not slacken in our efforts, even though a first step back to normality has been taken since Monday with the opening of shops with a sales area of up to 800 square metres," says Sridharan. "We are still only at the beginning of the pandemic, and it will be months before our everyday life has returned to what it used to be. Due to the open shops, more people are now on the move again in Bonn's pedestrian zone. The city therefore asks its citizens to continue to be careful and prudent despite the additional shopping opportunities.

Up until Tuesday, the city planning service had not noticed any shop that was open without permission. According to the city administration, the shops are taking good care to ensure that customers are only granted access in a controlled manner and to the extent permitted, and that hygiene rules are observed both in front of and inside the shops and sufficient distances are maintained.

The city of Bonn reported on Tuesday a total number of 579 people who have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the corona crisis. 363 have now recovered, five have died in the meantime, 211 are acutely ill and 1069 people are in quarantine.

Original text: Holger Willcke

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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