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Austria: The first Guinness Book of Records was published in 1955, the brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of Ireland’s Guinness Brewery. Since then, world records have been set and recorded in its pages in nearly every category imaginable. On Sunday in Vienna’s Prater amusement park, the city’s annual Recordia, an event of record-breaking attempts, will officially record the winners in a variety of competitions and send the information to the editors to be featured in the next Guinness book. Among the contestants set to appear will be the strongest man, defending his title by pulling a 60-ton truck, and the break-dance champion, attempting 202 one-hand jumps. Participants can try to break a record in various events, such as mobile phone throwing (a toss of more than 311 feet, 7 inches beats the record); most hugs in an hour (612 hugs by one person wins it) or the most push-ups in an hour (the defending champion’s goal this year is 3,426 or more). Find details at

Germany: There’s still time to catch one of Europe’s major automobile shows, the 63rd International Motor Show, which continues through the weekend at Frankfurt’s fairgrounds. This year’s theme is "A Moving Experience," and its 753 exhibitors from 30 countries include 62 vehicle manufacturers, many showing the latest in automotive innovation with an environmental slant. Activities include test drives of new vehicles, an off-road vehicle test track, old-time cars exhibition, outdoor go-cart track, parking contest, Ladies Corner, digital racetrack, model car fair and children’s cinema. The fair is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Day tickets cost 13 euros on Thursday and Friday and 15 euros on the weekend; 7.50 euros for children 6 to 17. For details, go to and, or, which has an English version.

The Stuttgart beer festival begins its two-week run Friday evening with the tapping of the first keg. Originating as a harvest festival in 1818 to celebrate the end of a famine, it is now considered the country’s second-largest beer festival after Munich’s Oktoberfest. Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, a colorful brewery parade will head to the Cannstatter Wasen, an area with seven large beer tents, two wine tents, food stalls and amusement rides. New this year is the Traditional Costume Festival, in which visitors can buy a traditional dirndl that costs 129 to 198 euros and lederhosen with an embroidered flag of Baden-Württemberg, the German state where Stuttgart is located, for 189 euros. Family Days are Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 with discounted amusement prices. Fireworks on the last day end the celebration. The grounds are open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to midnight weekends. For the complete program, go to; there is an English version.

Italy: The Roman poet Virgil may have warned to "beware of Greeks bearing gifts," but the city of Verona is opening its arms to Greece by making it the featured guest at the Tocati International Festival of Street Games beginning Friday and continuing this weekend. The event, held annually in the city’s historic center, revives more than 50 simple and ancient games proposed by the Italians and the featured guest. Categories include traditional Greek games, traditional Italian games, board games (such as chess and backgammon), urban innovations of old games and educational laboratory games for children. Also on the program are classical music concerts, exhibitions, a Greek square with cultural activities and plenty of Greek and Italian food and drinks. The festival’s hours are 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to, which has an English version.


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