Europe Traveler's event picks for March 17-18
By KAREN BRADBURY | Stars and Stripes | Published: March 12, 2018
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
Trafalgar Square, London, England
Dates: March 16-18
Trafalgar Square goes green for St. Patrick’s Day with performances by well-known Irish acts, crafts stalls, and food stalls dishing out Irish fare. The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade made up of elaborate floats, marching bands, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools sets off from Piccadilly at noon on March 18 and traces a 1.5-mile route past London’s most iconic landmarks including The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.
Rock the Pistes and Snowboxx Festival
Les Portes du Soleil, France and Switzerland
Dates: March 18-24
The vast French and Swiss border-straddling Les Portes du Soleil ski resort area is the location of more than free 50 concerts, including five directly on the ski slopes (Stephan Eicher March 18; Alice Merton March 19; The Horrors March 22; Oscar and the Wolf March 23; FFF March 24). The Snowboxx Festival, running at the same time, is a concert series for which tickets are necessary. Headliners include Fatboy Slim (March 18), Loyle Carner (March 20), and Chase and Status DJ Set + Rage (March 22). Skiers can also enjoy a treasure hunt March 20-21; those who find five of 17 markers hidden throughout the resort qualify for a free Portes du Soleil ski pass.
Admission: Concerts are free, but festivalgoers will need lift passes to gain access to the areas. Single day passes start at 52 euros; seven-day passes go for 260 euros. Snowboxx wristbands for entry to all shows on the main stage cost around 146 euros.
Website: http://en.rockthepistes.com and www.snowboxx.com
Messe Karlsruhe, Messeallee 1, D-76287 Rheinstetten, Germany
Dates: March 16-18 (noon-8 p.m. March 16; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 17-18)
Vintners from the German wine-growing regions of Baden, Wuerttemberg, Pfalz and Rheinhessen are on hand to show just how varied and high-quality the wines produced nearby can be these days. Craft beers, champagne and different types of gins and whiskies, along with a range of high-end food products to include oils, vinegars and truffle products, can also be sampled and purchased. Seminars, tours and tastings, bookable separately and at extra cost, allow the curious to increase their knowledge.
Admission: Adult tickets cost 15 euros at the door; ages 13 and under enter free.
Mittelalterlicher Jahrmarkt/ Middle Ages Market
Herzogenriedpark Mannheim, Max-Joseph-Strasse 64, 68169 Mannheim, Germany
Dates: March 16-18 (3 p.m.-9 p.m. March 16; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. March 17; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. March 18)
The long-past age of knights and jesters, Vikings, Celts and other folk are evoked through this market and gathering spot. Tradesmen in traditional garb ply crafts from bow-making to pottery to book-binding. The birds of prey show will fascinate all ages. Children can enjoy activities such as shooting a bow and arrow or rope-making. As evening falls, the sounds of bagpipes and drums completes the rustic scene set to candlelight.
Admission: Adult entry costs 6 euros; those in costume pay 4 euros; children under the height of a sword enter free.
Ostermarkt/ Easter Market
Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany
Dates: March 16-April 2 (open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; closed on Good Friday March 30)
Referred to as the “Haeferlesmarkt,” this market dating back to 1424 is considered the city’s oldest. Easter décor, textiles, crafts, household articles and other goods are offered by some hundred vendors, and numerous food stands offer local specialties.
Luminale- Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design
Frankfurt and Offenbach, Germany
Dates: March 18-23
Once every two years and in conjunction with the date at which a trade fair for the lighting industry is held, the landmarks of Frankfurt are lit up in creative ways. A walking tour of the city center allows visitors to experience the majority of the projects. Most outdoor installations are lit up from dusk until 11 p.m. Light shows and indoor displays are also on the agenda.
St. Patrick’s Day Festival
Dates: March 15-19
“The Best of Home” is the theme for five days of over 30 events featuring Irish and international musicians, dancers, storytellers and performers. The agenda includes street theater performances, film screenings, exhibitions, guided walks, spoken word, literature, visual arts and more. The undisputed highlight of festivities is the Festival Parade, which sets off from noon March 17. On March 18, Merrion Square is the site of the Big Day Out street carnival.
The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) Maastricht
MECC Maastricht, Forum 100, 6229 GV Maastricht, Netherlands
Dates: March 10-18 (11 a.m.-7 p.m. through March 17; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. March 18)
Museum-quality works of fine art, antiques, and design spanning 7,000 years of art history are exhibited by around 280 international dealers. Masterpieces from antiques to Old Masters, contemporary painting, works on paper and 20th century design are all showcased here. Vetting committees scrutinize every item presented, ensuring buyer confidence.
Admission: Tickets cost 40 euros for adults; ages 12-18 pay 20 euros.
Fallas Bonfire Festival of San José
Dates: March 15-18
Valencia’s over-the-top welcome to spring is one of those festivals to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Through the week, visitors can marvel at around 800 cardboard monuments known as ninots. These gigantic statues, some of which reach more than 60 feet in height, are set aflame during the crema, a spectacle of light, music and fireworks. Other highlights include fireworks displays known as mascletás and the parades of floral offerings to the Virgin Mary.
Geneva International Motor Show
Palexpo, Route François-Peyrot 30, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland
Dates: March 8-18 (10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat.-Sun.)
One of the world’s most important motor shows offers more than 200 exhibitors including the major carmakers, who present around 900 cars across seven halls. The show’s spring date gives manufacturers a chance to present their latest creations before they are launched on the market, and each year, more than 100 world and European premieres are unveiled.
Admission: Adults pay 16 Swiss Francs; ages 6-16 pay 9 Swiss Francs; 50 percent discount for entry after 4 p.m.