There is a lot going on at the Frankfurt Dippemess site these days.

The Ferris wheel is already a skeleton, the first stalls for the folk festival starting on April 8th have been set up.

The noise of the heavy goods vehicles arriving and departing at the fairground in Frankfurt's Bornheim district even drowned out the background noise of the neighboring large construction site of the family pool.

And every transporter stands for the spirit of optimism among the showmen.

"We are very optimistic," says Thomas Roie, Chairman of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Showmen's Association.

"We hope for much more normality than last year."

Daniel Meuren

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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The showmen had suffered particularly from the restrictions since the beginning of the corona pandemic, and almost all major folk festivals had been canceled until autumn.

Basically, everyday life for the Hessian showmen only started with the autumn Dippemess in Frankfurt.

Despite 3-G controls at the entrance, compulsory masks on the site and a one-way system between the attractions, they achieved satisfactory results, but above all there was no evidence of an increased risk of infection.

"The good experiences at Dippemess were important for the entire industry," says Roie.

“They made other events possible.” A little later, Christmas markets like those in Frankfurt or Mainz cleared the hurdles by Christmas Eve.

No more mask requirement

In Gießen, the rides at the spring fair have been turning again since the weekend.

The fair started on Saturday and will continue until April 10th.

"We are happy to be able to offer this traditional Giessen event again after the forced two-year break," says Frank Hölscheidt, Managing Director of Giessen's marketing company.

Two years after the start of the corona pandemic, many other Hessian folk festivals are expected to increase again to the usual extent.

According to the current status, there will no longer be a mask requirement, and the number of visitors could also approach the previous level again.

“We have received very good feedback from festivals that have already been held in Butzbach or other cities in Germany,” says Roie.

"Especially in these difficult times, people want to get out of everyday life."

At the Dippemess in Frankfurt, the organizers are therefore hoping for visitor numbers as before the pandemic.

At the edition in autumn, which was officially organized as a completely closed amusement park due to the Corona requirements, there were at least 186,000 visitors, where 250,000 used to be counted.

"As of today, Dippemess will be roughly the same as it was before Corona," says Ines Philipp from Tourismus und Congress GmbH Frankfurt.

In principle, you continue to drive on sight at such events, and depending on current developments, it could also be that the conditions during the folk festival would have to be adjusted, says Philipp with a view to possible hotspot regulations.

Basically, you want to give visitors a safe feeling and therefore recommend wearing masks in crowded situations.

Folk festival should also serve to relax

The war in the Ukraine was also discussed during the planning – on the one hand from a moral point of view, on the other hand because of high energy costs and delivery problems for certain products, says Philipp.

However, the decision as to whether a folk festival will take place is a political one.

"We know many stories from our ancestors that folk festivals, especially in difficult situations, always helped people forget the worries of everyday life," says showman boss Roie.

In Mainz, plans are currently underway for two larger festival weekends: from May 20th to 22nd, as part of the Rhineland-Palatinate Day, for example, a large festival parade is to replace the unusual Shrove Monday procession.

In June, for the first time since the beginning of Corona, the Johannisnacht would take place again, the largest Mainz folk festival next to the Fastnacht.

In Darmstadt, meanwhile, the Heinerfest is being planned, which is one of the major folk and cultural festivals in Hesse.

Before the pandemic, it attracted around 600,000 to 700,000 people a year.

Only a few days ago, the city and authorities gave permission and we are pleased that the 72nd edition can take place from June 30th to July 4th, says Sabine Welsch, Managing Director of the Heimatverein Darmstädter Heiner.

amusement parks open

Because the Heinerfest is spread over the entire city center of Darmstadt, takes place in the open air and there are also quieter corners, visitors do not have to worry about being infected with Covid-19.

Corona restrictions are not planned, even if folders are supposed to ensure in places that there are not too many crowds.

As for the folk festivals, the end of the Corona regulations also has a signal character for amusement parks: The Taunus Wunderland near Schlangenbad and the Lochmühle amusement park near the Saalburg open their gates again.

“We are incredibly looking forward to our small and large guests.

For families from the entire Rhine-Main area, the Taunus Wunderland is the perfect place to get out, have fun and relax in nature," says park director Otto Barth.

While the Taunus Wunderland advertises a new T-Rex that dinosaur friends can follow on a ride, the Lochmühle amusement park points out that the entrance area has become more spacious.

In subtext, this means that nobody has to worry about distance options.

With all the optimism and desire for a return to normality, Corona is still present.