Bonn The 50th Bonn Christmas market opened officially on Friday. District mayor Brigitta Poppe-Reiners gave the starting signal of the stage in front of the Sterntor.
The stall operators had already had a busy day behind them when district mayor Brigitta Poppe-Reiners gave the official starting signal for the Christmas market on the stage in front of the Sterntor.
From 11 a.m. onwards, when the 180 sales and food stalls opened for the first time this year, people crowded through the lanes of the Christmas market to Münstersplatz, Bottlersplatz and Friedensplatz. The City-Skyliner, which will be on Remigiusplatz for the 50th anniversary of the Bonn Christmas market, had also been hurtled up and down many times before the official opening, providing visitors with a very special view of the market’s magic from the glass cabins, reaching a height of over 70 metres.
Poppe-Reiners welcomed several colleagues from the district and city council as well as the mayor Ashok Sridharan and an eight-member delegation from the 22 partner district Budafok in Budapest, who are currently visiting Bonn with their Mayor Ferenc Karsay. Also among the guests were the chairman of the retail association Jannis Vassiliou and his colleague on the board Christina van Dorp. Eva Bühler, head of marketing at the General-Anzeiger, and Marco Westphal of the Stadtwerke (public utilities) also came to the Sterntor. As in previous years, their companies and the Bonner City-Parkraum GmbH are sponsoring the festive lighting on the city gates during the Christmas market. The illumination lines with over 8500 energy-saving LED lamps are five kilometres long. The city gates are shining brightly with 5000 LED lights. The musical accompaniment to the opening ceremony was provided by the Big Band der Bundesstadt led by Christoph Müller.
Poppe-Reiners thanked everyone who has been involved in setting-up and running the Christmas market. She admitted that there had been some criticism of the construction of the City-Skyliner. "But Bonn District Council decided to offer Bonn residents and visitors something special in the anniversary year," she said, referring to the view from the observation tower over the Christmas market.
As a result of the terrorist attack on the Christmas market in Berlin in 2016, heavy concrete blocks and mobile barriers once again secure the most important access roads to the Bonn Christmas market. The Tunisian Anis Amri drove a stolen truck into the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz below the famous Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, killing twelve people.
Like every year, the mobile police van will be located by the cathedral’s main portal. The foot patrols will also be coordinated from this "Christmas market guard post". The contact point for the city security service (Stadtordnungsdienst) is located in Vivatsgasse. The police advise all visitors to the Christmas market to keep pickpockets in mind and take care of their valuables, carrying wallets and important papers in closed pockets inside jackets and coats.
Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Caroline Payne)