Stuttgart’s 78th Spring Festival runs until 8 May and is expected to draw some 1.5 million visitors to the city.
This year's festival features a large selection of stalls, fairground rides, side-shows and beer tents. Wednesday is "family day," with reduced prices for parents and children. The fair grounds will feature revelers clad in Lederhosen and the traditional Dirndl dress. The only thing that might dampen spirits is the price of beer, at up to 9.80 euros ($11) a liter.
Among the festival's highlights will be the hot air balloon race on April 23. A traditional mass will take place on 26 April and the festival will close with a fireworks display on May 8.
Stuttgart also hosts a festival in the fall, which draws even bigger crowds. Organizers do not consider either event to pose a significant security risk.