Albanifest in Winterthur (ZH)

Winterthur

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Winterthur Merkurplatz

Winterthur Merkurplatz

Last weekend in June

The festival of St. Alban's in Winterthur is somewhat exceptional since it is based on an historical event but has only recently been instituted. The last weekend in June, the old city center of Winterthur is transformed into a fairground with dozens of openair eating places, more than twenty dance and light entertainment orchestras, several amusement stands, and an enormous Chilbi, or fair-ground carnival, with rides and stalls.

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The many foreign workers of this industrial city are also included in the festivities, operating their own openair facilities where specialties from their native country are served.

The festival dates back to June 22, 1264, when Winterthur received its status as a town from Rudolf of Habsburg. As it was St. Alban's Day, a day when political and military matters were discussed and settled, the festival was so named. Up into the eighteenth century, the custom was regularly observed, but even in the following years it was not totally forgotten. Since 1971, the Albanifest has again been celebrated in grand style.

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