Muffendorf. It’s time for the popular 30th Muffenale this Sunday in the historic village of Muffendorf. What initially began as a small event, has grown into a big street festival. Arts and crafts and culinary delights await visitors.
Older villagers may still remember that the first Muffenale 30 years ago nearly got rained out. Resident Hans-Dieter Heckes developed the idea for the festival, to be held on the first Sunday of September. His concept was for people to open up their courtyards for an art festival.Muffendorf has the longest stretch of historic timber-framed houses in the district. Heckes came up with the catchy name Muffenale.
And then the first festival in 1988 got hit by rain showers. The small stage in the courtyard of the Heckes home had to be dried off with a mop so the dancer could take the stage. But the idea was now implanted and would take root.
Soon, the festival spread from the main street into the side alleys, where tables and benches were also set up. People who lived there continued to develop their own ideas. Since then, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, plum cake and apple cake waft through the alley ways. Hundreds of potatoes are peeled and deep fried on location to the make the savory Reibekuchen (potato pancakes).
In the beginning, it was all about art. Soon, the Muffenale became a showcase for everything that the picturesque district had to offer. Many thousands of visitors flocked from surrounding areas to the event. The last 28 Muffenales were held under mostly sunny skies. Organizers Boris and Ana-Maria Leistikow describe the event like this, "We offer little commercialism, but a lot of art and culture."
They hope that this Sunday, September 2 will also be blessed with dry weather. The traditional tapping of the barrel is scheduled for 10:30am. This anniversary event will offer an extensive music program with its own stage. Musicians such as Meoneo, Ioanna & Uwe, and the Bonn saxophone ensemble will play. Numerous exhibitors and vendors will provide a variety of arts and crafts, and culinary delights.
For weeks now, there has been lots of knitting and creating in the village, says Ana-Maria Leistikow. Traditional quilts, clothing weaved on historic looms, lovingly hand-made jewelry and accessories will all be on sale. But there will also be plenty of art.
The smell of stone-baked bread will drift through the streets. Besides “Rhenish Tapas” and the traditional Flammkooche, there will also be grilled Eifel sausages, and Venetian antipasti for the discerning guest. Winemaker Irene Diedrichs will provide her locally produced wine for tasting. The 30th anniversary of the Muffenale appears set to become yet another successful chapter in the history of the event. The festival is on Sunday, September 2 from 11am until 7pm.
(Orig. text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)