Beuel · Pützchen After a two-year hiatus, Pützchen's market is once again delighting the punters. Some 850,000 visitors came to the funfair on the first three days.
More than half a million people visited Pützchens Markt on Friday and Saturday. Joint projections by the police, the city, the fire brigade and the public utility company on Sunday afternoon suggest that the number of visitors was even as high as some 850,000 by late Sunday evening. This figure is significantly lower than in 2018, the previous year with record numbers, when there were 930,000 over three days. By the end of the five-day event, there were 1.4 million visitors.
Record number of visitors not expected
"The funfair is very well attended, although people don't congregate at peak times like they did in the years before the pandemic," said Peter Barth, chairman of the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Euskirchen fairground association. So there will probably not be a record number of visitors in 2022.
His colleague Hubert Markmann sees it likewise: "It's a quieter start. But we are seeing a peaceful, happy and relaxed fair. After two years of being forced to take a break, it's a good new start for us funfair people."
The police, the public order office, the fire brigade and the emergency services are surprised at how disciplined and orderly the vast majority of visitors are behaving on the fairground. Police operations manager Stefan Scharfenstein, who is in charge of the "market watch" for the first time, drew a preliminary interim balance: " Thanks to our strong presence, we had the well-attended market area under control at all times. Within the scope of our patrols, which we also carried out together with the external security service of the City of Bonn, we were always approachable for visitors - we felt that this was also appreciated."
New market manager experiences positive premiere year
Kathrin Krumbach, who is the first woman in the history of the City of Bonn to hold the position of Market Manager, looked a little tired but happy on Sunday: "My premiere year has so far gone without any noteworthy incidents. I can see almost exclusively satisfied faces among guests and showpeople." She has coped well with the first two long nights of the fair. On Sunday morning she switched off the lights and went to bed at 5.05 a.m.
Beuel's district mayor Lara Mohn was struck in particular by how much visitors appreciated the funfair. "The buzz is everywhere," said Mohn, who was particularly pleased with the delegation of visitors from Beuel's French twin town of Mirecourt.
New trend: young people consume laughing gas
Sascha Hessenbruch, head of the department for administrative violations and the city's public order service, says he has noticed a new trend at the fair: "We are noticing a clear pattern: young people are intoxicating themselves with laughing gas. The gas bottles look like respirators. When inhaled, the gas leads to a state of intoxication."
The showpeople are quite satisfied with the revenue. Pricing is a balancing act for them: They have to charge more because of the many price increases, but they must not take too much for their attractions, because customers are put off if prices are too high. A ride on Octopussy costs 50 cents more than in 2019, which means four euros in total. "This year we have to do it through volume and not through price," says showman Markmann.
Sensitivity in pricing
Calculating the cost of a glass of beer also requires a delicate touch. Peter Barth says: "You can't charge more than three euros for a 0.25-litre glass of Kölsch. After that, the beer no longer tastes good." In 2019, the same glass cost 2.50 euros. Barth claims: "Pützchens Markt is and remains the top-selling five-day funfair in Germany."
Bayernzelt operator Jan-Patrick Wolters has not noticed that beer consumption is on the decline: "We had to close the tent twice at short notice on Saturday evening to stop overcrowding. If the waiters can't get through, we have to close the entrance."
His 13 Kölsch taps in the tent were in permanent service. To ensure that there is always enough cold beer flowing, Wolters has installed 1.5 kilometres of beer pipes under the floor of the tent. These are supplied from an aluminium tank with a capacity of 20,000 litres. Sounds a lot, and it is a lot.
Police presence in the Bavarian tent
Wolters also stresses the peaceful atmosphere in the Bavarian tent: " Ever since I’ve been coming to Pützchen, it is the first time that the police did not have to be called on a Saturday evening. This is the way to go."
One showman was literally floating with happiness over the market grounds - and that didn't even have anything to do with the fair. Marcel Markmann became the proud owner of a historic Scania tractor, built in 1972, a few hours ago. The vintage vehicle, made from Swedish steel, is a gift from his father Hubert. "I bought it in a bad condition, but didn't have time to restore it. My son was a bit sad," the father explains.
Then a chance came up, the car was refurbished and hidden in a garden in Holzlar. Under a pretext, son Marcel was supposed to pick up a tractor in Holzlar and then was suddenly found himself standing in front of the shiny Scania. Only seconds later, his eyes gleamed. Father and son were later hugging each other. This is another story from Pützchens Markt.
Original text: Holger Willcke
Translation: Jean Lennox