Bonn In north Bonn, preparations are underway for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. More porta potties are to be installed to relieve the burden on restaurants and shops.
As soon as winter shows even the slightest sign of retreat, the people of Bonn look forward to the natural phenomenon in the middle of the city: the cherry blossoms in the Nordstadt. At the beginning of April, this is the first sign that spring is approaching and the festival has since developed into an international event. In 2018, over hundreds of thousands of people visited the Bonn Cherry Blossom Festival - to watch, photograph and simply enjoy. The event has also been widely covered in the media. And indeed worldwide.
The Old Town Initiative decided many years ago to begin organizing a Cherry Blossom Festival. ”This year, there will again be readings, music and other events in the Old Town," says Victoria Harlos of the Old Town Initiative. "However, the exact schedule has not yet been finalized - we will meet next week for the planning." She has been involved in the event on a voluntary and part-time basis for years and particularly appreciates the pleasant atmosphere that also brings the shopkeepers together: "There is a sense of togetherness, no competition," says Harlos.
As positive as the developments may be, the relatively small Nordstadt also struggles with the waves of visitors and sometimes does not know where to put them - especially when they urgently need a toilet. "The number of cafés in the quarter is limited, and most of them are also quite small, so they only have a few toilets. We kept getting feedback that the hospitality industry was struggling with the many visitors - especially when they didn't even consume anything," she reports. Hotelier Alfons Aigner is also well aware of the situation. He is involved in the initiative as well and participated in discussions with the Office for Economic Development: "We are very happy that Melanie von Seht from the City of Bonn has committed herself so much to our cause", says Aigner.
Last year there were already a few porta potties in the schoolyard of the Marien School, but they were hard to find. In the meantime the city has agreed to install a total of ten mobile toilets at Marien School and Stadthaus for the event this year. At the moment, there is a proposal to include funding for this permanently in the city's budget, and the organizers and the hotel industry are very happy about the support from the city: "We are really very happy that the city bureaus are always very cooperative and that the city does what it can. The only thing is that the funds usually have to be raised first", says Aigner. The next wish is already in the pipeline: For the benefit of visitors and residents alike, Chairman Berthold Lange had the idea of sending guides through Bonn's Old Town. They could provide information, and sometimes also help residents get around by car or prevent trees from being painted with graffiti. So far, the proposal to finance such "cherry blossom guides" has been rejected: "But we'll keep at it!”
Orig. text: Verena Düren