Pützchen The 652nd Pützchens Markt funfair is now open. The roundabouts and rides will continue to run until the fireworks on Tuesday. Everything started with some magic on Friday.
Did the Zaubertrixxer magicians Ingo and Albin steal the show from the Lord Mayor of Bonn? This question was hotly debated on Friday afternoon at the opening of the 652nd Pützchens Markt funfair (6 to 10 September) in the Bavarian tent. The answer was a clear “No!”.
The show acts of the stage actors actually didn’t get in each others’ way. The magic world champions breathed magical moments into the biggest Bavarian tent ever erected, where 3,500 guests experienced enchanting artistry and inspiring magic. Bonn's Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan even became part of the stage show: he witnessed how the two magicians performed an incredible trick with a woman randomly chosen from the audience, which made the whole audience think.
The trick was about a “Magic Heart”: the woman had to give her first name, and the magicians promised to conjure it up in white sugar writing on a huge gingerbread heart. Abracadabra – Simsalabim: suddenly the name Inge really did appear on it. Stunned and disbelieving, the GA reporter asked, and Inge Henseler from Bornheim said: “Honestly, I knew nothing. That wasn’t staged. I am totally amazed”. The Lord Mayor also shrugged his shoulders and confessed: “I paid attention and did not discover any fudging. That’s magic”. There was thunderous applause, especially for the fabulous magicians.
Barrel tapping in the Bavarian tent
Anyone who thought that the traditional tapping of barrels had lost its importance was wrong. Sridharan tied the beer-carriage apron around his body, took a close look at the 50-litre Kölsch barrel, grabbed the wooden hammer and struck it. He rammed the tap into the bung hole with a single blow: the Kölsch foamed into the glass and the crowd cheered.
Lutz Reinke and Hermann Wittenburg, who were responsible for the brewer's tapping of the keg decades ago in the days of the Kurfürstenbräu, nodded approvingly: “Three years in a row only one blow has been needed – I am full of respect, no Mayor of Bonn has managed that before him”.
The new head of the municipal building management (SGB), Lutz Leide – who takes over the job from Marion Duisberg on 1 November – also made his first surprise public appearance: Beuel's district mayor Guido Déus discovered that it was the birthday of the new SGB head on the opening day of the fair. There was champagne and singing for the now 56-year-old Rhinelander. Several spectators had beforehand experienced a grandiose parade through the spaces between the stalls: the Friends of the Pützchens Markt had again organised an historic fairground parade with old-timer tractors from the showmen. For the first time on the celebrity carriage was Rhein-Sieg District Administrator Sebastian Schuster, who was elected 400th club member two years ago. Ashok Sridharan followed him on Friday as the 500th member.
To improve the ecological balance of Pützchens Markt, the Friends donated money to plant deciduous trees in Bonn’s urban woodland. "We want this to make a positive contribution to the controversial discussion around the firework finale on fair Tuesday, said Friend’s boss Günter Dederichs.
The 500 rides and stalls are now in operation until Tuesday, 10 September. More than one million visitors are expected.
(Original text: Holger Willcke, translation John Chandler)