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This is a big weekend for one of the most gorgeous cities in all of Germany. Bamberg’s beloved Sandkerwa, officially a celebration of the consecration of the St. Elisabeth church, is in essence a five-day marathon of enjoying some of the country’s most unusual beers. With nine breweries producing more than 50 kinds of beer within city limits, there will be plenty on tap for sampling.

Between mugs of beer, guests can watch old traditions come alive. On Friday at 6 p.m., the Kirchweihbaum, a decorated and symbolic tree, is set up in front of St. Elisabeth church. As dusk falls on Saturday, a parade of decorated boats cruises the Regnitz River.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., the Fischerstechen, or fishermen’s joust, begins. This is a battle between two people perched on gangplanks jutting from boats. Victory goes to the person who manages to push his opponent into the river by means of a long pole tipped by a ball.

The party ends Monday at 10 p.m. with a fireworks display from the nearby Michaelsberg Abbey.

Read more at (in English, with only basic information) or (German only, but it has the complete program).

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