Summer is finally here, and with it comes all of the festivals that make Stuttgart a worthwhile place to staycation. Check out what's going on:
July 1st to 3rd Heusteigviertel Strassenfest -- This block party in the Heusteigviertel neighborhood in downtown Stuttgart features a giant flea market, music, and food stands from local vendors. We arrived too late in the day to do any shopping last year, though we had a nice stroll through the area and got to experience the friendly atmosphere, food, and drinks. It's worth your time if you're in the area.
July 7th to 17th Hamburger Fischmarkt -- This festival from Hamburg brings tons of fish to Stuttgart from the north to create a kind of giant fish fry in the Karlsplatz every summer. The desserts are pretty good, too. Just check out my blog post from the 2014 festival for a mouth-watering invitation.
July 8th to 10th Afrika-Festival Stuttgart -- I first attended this festival last year and loved it! Located at Erwin-Schöttle-Platz, this event features lots of music, dancing, and food from the various African restaurants and catering services in the city. I recommend you go early to avoid the crowds, but stay late if you want to really soak up the atmosphere.
July 9th Lichterfest -- The Lichterfest (light festival) takes place every year in Killesberg park. The festival organizers cordon off the center of the park where they set up everything from live light shows to food stalls. After the sun drops, the sky lights up with an impressive fireworks show. It's an especially great event for families with children, but although you can bring your pet, we found out our first year here that it's not a good idea due to the noise.
July 12th to 17th SommerFestival der Kulturen -- Another one of my favorite festivals in the city, this multicultural event in the market square in front of the Rathaus features tons of regularly scheduled music acts and food from around the world, including China, Haiti, Korea, Palestine, Ethiopia, Chile, Poland, and more. As I found out last year, the positive atmosphere stems from the festival's "emphatic and positive signal against racism and discrimination of any kind" (translated from German on their website). Don't miss this one!
July 20th to 24th Indisches Filmfestival -- I realize this isn't exactly a food festival, but my Indian friend recommends it every year. Plus, you could always go out for some Indian food before or after your movie viewing. (I've had Ganesha and a few others on my list for a while now, but let me know if you find someplace better.)
July 21st to 23rd Bohnenviertelfest -- This is truly one of my favorite block parties in Stuttgart. One weekend of the year, the many restaurants, antiques shops, and art shops open their doors and welcome their neighbors to see what the "bean quarter" is all about. Check out my blog post about a previous year's event to get an idea of some of the yummy foods available, including cocktails from Takeshii's Vietnamese and mixed plates from Injeera African.
July 29th to 30th Stuttgart Festival -- This giant open-air music and art festival takes place over at the Messe. This year they have over 60 electronic and indie bands playing over the two-day period. The cost of a two-day ticket is now 95€. I've never been, but it seems to be a pretty big deal around town and worth it if you're looking for the summer music scene here.
August 4th to 7th Sommerfest -- The Sommerfest is another one of my favorite events in Stuttgart. Every year the organizers set up a number of food stalls, bands, and dancing platforms around the Schlossgarten. Though there are plenty of make-shift restaurants, I really enjoy taking a picnic blanket and sitting on the grass while I taste various foods. Have a look at my blog post from a previous summer to see what it's all about.
August 5th to 15th Esslingen Zwiebelfest -- The Stuttgart area has a number of seasonal food-centered festivals, including this one celebrating onions. I attended last year's event, and though I was looking for something a bit more quirky, I did enjoy trying the typical Schwäbisch Zwiebelkuchen (regional onion tart). It's worth a visit if you're in the area.
August 19th to 21st Flammende Sterne Ostfildern -- Much like the Lichterfest in Killesbergpark, a friend of mine and local promises the fireworks display (and food) at this festival in Ostfildern is just as good.
August 24th to September 4th Stuttgarter Weindorf -- The Weindorf at the end of August marks the beginning of fall for me. It celebrates the region's wine-growing tradition and spreads from the Altes Schloss all the way to the Rathaus. Go for the wine, of course, but be sure to try some of the Swabian cuisine while you're there. Have a look at my blog post for some tips.
Do you know of any other events that I've missed that are in and around Stuttgart these next two months? Please share them in the comments below.