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Col. Todd Fish, left, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, tap a keg of beer to officially open the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, June 29, 2018.

Col. Todd Fish, left, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, tap a keg of beer to officially open the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, June 29, 2018. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

Col. Todd Fish, left, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, tap a keg of beer to officially open the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, June 29, 2018.

Col. Todd Fish, left, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, tap a keg of beer to officially open the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, June 29, 2018. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, left, toasts with Col. Todd Fish, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, after the opening keg-tapping at the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 29, 2018.

Sven Gerich, lord mayor of Wiesbaden, left, toasts with Col. Todd Fish, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, after the opening keg-tapping at the fifth annual German-American Friendship Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

The Ferris wheel at the German-American Friendship Festival offers views of the rides and attractions.

The Ferris wheel at the German-American Friendship Festival offers views of the rides and attractions. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

Festivalgoers wait in line outside the fun house at the German-American Friendship Fest in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 29, 2018.

Festivalgoers wait in line outside the fun house at the German-American Friendship Fest in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

WIESBADEN, Germany — The German-American Friendship Festival officially opened Friday with the swing of a wooden hammer, kicking off a celebration organizers expect to draw tens of thousands of visitors during its six-day run.

Col. Todd Fish used the hammer to tap a ceremonial beer keg at the fest, which runs through Wednesday in Wiesbaden’s Hainerberg housing area between the old Post Exchange and the Taunus Theater.

Visitors can expect a pair of large beer gardens, dozens of food and drink stands, and carnival attractions, including a funhouse and a log ride. It runs daily from noon until midnight and admission is free. Fireworks on the Fourth of July are scheduled to cap off the celebration.

Fish, the commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, said he’s enjoyed the fest each summer of his three-year tenure.

“I am very happy that I am the first garrison commander to have the pleasure of experiencing the festival three years in a row,” Fish said. “I’m looking forward to welcoming our neighbors again to share this wonderful tradition with us.”

Joining Fish in tapping the keg on Friday was Wiesbaden lord mayor Sven Gerich and representatives from the West Hessen Police Presidium, which is working with U.S. military police to provide security at the fest.

Gerich said the fest's popularity has been growing.

“My office has been receiving many questions and inquiries about the fest,” Gerich said. “It tells me that the fest has become famous even beyond the Wiesbaden area.”Stoutamire.dan@stripes.comTwitter: @DKS_Stripes

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