The second Bahnhofsfest – and the less than grand opening

This time last year Oberursel was celebrating the grand re-opening of the station building after the restoration work had been completed.

So when I heard that the Bahnhofsfest (“station festival”) was being held again this year – albeit at short notice – I was looking forward to it.  All of a sudden, everywhere I looked there were flyers and posters advertising it, and details were published in the local newspapers.

Whilst I was certainly looking forward to seeing Roy Hammer & Die Pralinées play in the evening, from a news point of view the highlight could well have been the opening of the new Ärztehaus opposite the station – a building containing a number of doctors’ surgeries, a chemist and a bank.

Except that when I went to the opening at 11am, I, along with other members of the press and the public were politely told that the opening was by invitation only, and myself and two other photographers were definitely not on the list of people being allowed in.

Eventually we found out that a public opening was taking place on the stage at the station at 11.30am.  Perhaps the people on the door at the Ärtzehaus could have told us that?  Anyway the opening took place at the appointed time, with speeches by the mayor and the owner of the building, Daniel Rinck, who commented on the positive effects of Oberursel having its own planning office.

Daniel Rinck and Hans-Georg-Brum on stage opening the Ärtzehaus

Daniel Rinck and Hans-Georg-Brum on stage opening the Ärtzehaus

He also said that “an Ärtzehaus is lives from its reputation” and that “it is not a public building, but one that everyone has access to”.  Given the lack of access that most of the town’s press corps had just experienced, that reputation was not getting off to a good start.

Considering that the item on the programme for 1pm failed to materialise, there was a gap in the proceedings after the speeches until 2pm.  During this time there was a chance to take part in a quiz and maybe win a prize.

Unfortunately whoever proof read the answers to the quiz had overseen a mistake, meaning that if answered all of the questions correctly, you ended up with the wrong solution to the puzzle.  Having pointed this out to the stand in front of the Ärtzehaus, no-one seem to know anything about “instant win” that the question sheet talked about, and wanted to just collect the answers for the prize draw later.

Since there was a second place to hand in the sheets a quick visit to them revealed that here there really was an instant win of sorts, which involved going to a third stand to actually collect the prize, and leaving the quiz sheet at the second or first stands to be entered into the draw later in the evening.  Even then, depending on who you asked you either had to be present at the draw to win or would possibly be notified by e-mail if you were not.  Admittedly I relied on the latter being true and was not around during the draw, so if you did have to be present I may well have lost out.

If the opening of the new building was not the highlight of the day, then the concert in the evening certainly was.  But coming in a close second was the Helen Doron Early English presentation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (slightly spoilt by the member of staff on their stand pronouncing it “c-ate-erpillar”), which introduced children to the basic English words needed to understand an animated film of the book.

Roy Hammer, Trude Blume and Senor Mezzaluna on stage

Roy Hammer & Die Pralinées

The concert was an open-air performance of Roy Hammer & Die Pralinées, for which even the Nassauer Straße had been closed off.  For two hours they performed a mixture of German “Schlager” hits to an audience than grew throughout the evening until it almost filled the fenced off part of the road.  The day may have got off to a bad start, but the finalé was a rock solid success.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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