Christian & I went on a bike ride on Sunday & rode through a town called Kappellen.  We ended up having to get off our bikes & walk though the town because a special festival was taking place, Schützenfest (marksmen’s festival).  Small towns & villages needed to be able to defend themselves during the Middle Ages, so military clubs were formed.  They not only trained in defense but also had special festivals & what the festival entailed depended on the region.  Apparently Hannover has the largest Schützenfest with a shooting competition, parade and fair.  We got to see the parade in Kappellen, which is where the marksmen clubs & bands are lined up along the street and the King of the Marksmen for the year along with his royal court are escorted past each group.  When the royal court pass by the club, they stand at attention & the band will play before the king moves on.

Here is a group of marksmen waiting for the royal court to pass by.

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The royal court.  See the king with all his metals.

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It was fun to see such a traditional event take place & there were lots of people lined up along the street to view the parade.  On the other side of the village, there was a fair with rides, food & booths set up.  There will be a Schützenfest parade in Düsseldorf on July 13th of this year & with this comes the largest Kirmes (fair) on the Rhein. 

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