Stars, stripes, sun at Bitburg bash
Stars and Stripes June 30, 2003
Bitburg is typical Americana on the Fourth of July — except it’s in Germany.
“It’s just like a little town back in the States — everybody knows everybody,” said George Price, a native Pennsylvanian who has lived in the scenic Eifel region for 47 years.
“Most of the [local German] families have people working on base now or have in the past. It’s just one big family.”
The Bitburg-Spangdahlem military community plans to dish out some family-style hospitality Thursday through Monday when it hosts the 47th annual B*A*S*H — or Big Annual Summer Happening — at Bitburg French Casern.
Price, special events coordinator for the 52nd Services Squadron, said B*A*S*H is thrown to thank local Germans, U.S. servicemembers and their families for contributing to the community.
But visitors from outside are invited to enjoy the festivities as well, Price said.
Highlights include a 35-minute fireworks show at 10:30 p.m. Friday at Spangdahlem Air Base, and a concert by country-pop singer Amy-Jayne McCabe at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Amusement rides, vendors and entertainment will be part of each day’s slate.
The B*A*S*H bazaar is expected to include more than 20 vendors from throughout Europe. Products include Middle Eastern rugs, antiques, body jewelry and Greek jewelry, furniture, wines and oil paintings.
Price said prices for food and drinks will be affordable. Chinese, Mexican and German dishes will be among the selections.
“That way you can come down and eat with us, and you don’t have to spend the rent money,” he said. Both euros and U.S. dollars will be accepted for payment.
No parking will be allowed in the B*A*S*H area. Festival goers are encouraged to walk to the event or use the shuttle-bus service.
Pets, large backpacks and bicycles will not be allowed in the fairgrounds.
Price said B*A*S*H participants are looking forward to showing off the area’s friendly lifestyle.
“We try to have the best relationship with the local community of any installation in Europe,” Price said. “Every military community would like to have what we have. You really have to be part of it to know what it is.”