Bonn. It’s the last day of school today for German high school students expected to graduate this year. You might hear and see a parade of cars and bikes which will end with a big party on the Rigal'schen Wiese in Bad Godesberg. Exams are still ahead for the students.
The streets around Rigal'schen Wiese in Bad Godesberg were full of future high school graduates from Bonn who traditionally celebrate their last day of school with a big party. When their lessons ended, they formed a procession, making their way to Bad Godesberg. Some of the students decided not to travel by car this year, keeping in step with the Fridays-for-Future demonstrations for climate protection. They came by bicycle instead.
In a letter to the students, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer welcomed the planned bicycle procession, saying the students were setting an example for climate protection, and showing a sense of responsibility. He also made reference to the current bicycle helmet campaign, “And if you are wearing a helmet in the bike procession, then you are doing everything right! Because as you know: 'It looks like shit! But it saves my life!’”.
Police were on hand to escort the upcoming high school graduates and see that traffic rules were observed, and make sure that the young people did not drive drunk. The so-called Abi-Festival on the Rigal'schen Wiese was expected to end around 6pm. “Abi” comes from the word “Abitur” which is what German students who are going on to university aim to achieve when they sit their exams.
At 8 p.m. the final party for the students will take place in the Stadthalle in Bad Godesberg, where around 3,000 are expected. The 16-year-olds can officially join the party until 2 a.m. thanks to a special permit issued by the city of Bonn. According to the organizers, the final party in Bonn is one of the "most traditional and biggest Abiparties" in Germany.