The Bergkirchweih is an annual fair and beer festival in Erlangen, Germany. Locals nickname it Berch, which is the Franconian pronunciation of the German word Berg, meaning mountain or hill.
The Bergkirchweih starts on the Thursday before Pentecost at 5PM. The opening ceremony called "Anstich", which is carried out by the town's mayor, takes place in a different beer cellar every year. Thousands gather to watch the opening spectacle hoping to get one of the free beers from the first barrel. Twelve days later the last beer barrel is buried in the cellar where the next Anstich will take place. The Bergkirchweih area is located in the northern extremities of the town of Erlangen and is roughly a kilometer long (0.6 mi). It contains beer cellars, booths and rides - a huge Ferris wheel is the Berch's traditional landmark.
With its wooden benches under elms, chestnuts and oaks it is the biggest Open-Air-Biergarten of Europe with more than 11,000 seats.
Wikipedia: Erlangen is a Middle Franconian city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located at the confluence of the river Regnitz and its large tributary, the Untere Schwabach. Erlangen has more than 100,000 inhabitants.Erlangen is today dominated by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the numerous branch offices of Siemens AG, as well as a large Institute of the Fraunhofer Society. An event that still influences the city was the settlement of Huguenots after the withdrawal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.
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