Düsseldorf-Oberkassel shooting festival

Customs clearance in Dusseldorf
Riding geese without horses – but with a lot of fun

The trade fair in Oberkassel was rather small this year. Some showmen quit in a short time or didn’t show up at all.

Once again, Oberkasseler Schützen had to be creative. As the ground on the “little Rheinwiese” in Oberkassel was too wet, Saturday’s goose riding was not possible as usual. “There is a risk that the turf will be damaged by horses during the competition and the repair will be too expensive,” explained Jörg Klünder, former regiment king and in charge of the competition. So it was necessary to find a new idea: the same event, but without the horses. And that actually had a big advantage. Usually only riders can prove their skill. This time, everyone could try to tear off the wooden head of a cardboard goose.

And so many came to the tree from which the goose hung on the rope. It quickly turned out that the idea for horse riding was not lost on Saturday either. Colonel Michael Boeckelmann took his granddaughter Fabienne Arnolds on his shoulders and “ran” with her under the goose, while the former pazi queen grabbed and pulled the cardboard head of the animal.

There were different techniques to see. Some sensed the horse, galloped and rattled. Others imitated the rider. The jump run was as unsuccessful as using your full body weight and landing on your buttock. The little ones on the shoulders of the adults received great applause and were looking forward to starting the new race. There was even a test on crutches. For some, however, the goose remained out of reach, as the former regiment commander laughed at pulling the animal back with a jerk on the rope.

Finally, Christopher Neweling held the goose head in his hand and seemed amazed. “Have I done something wrong?” His friends from the Krefeld Carnival Society 2016 Circle of Friends were delighted. Neweling can now call himself Gänsereiter-King and has the status of Bürgerkönig from Oberkasseler Schützen. The prize was the Gänsereiterkönigskette. Klunder is pleased. “Next year there will be a goose ride again. But then again with the horses, ”he says.

St. Sebastian in 1873 in Oberkassel began with a barrel hit on Thursday. Contrary to previous years, a great procession and parade took place on the first day of the festival. “As the Shrove Monday procession was actually scheduled to start on Sunday, we postponed our move,” explained first boss Norbert Vogel. In the evening, there was a great Father’s Day party. While the bird king was being shot on Friday, there was a senior’s afternoon in the tent with coffee and cake. In the evening, new kings were crowned and Max Weyers brought the tent to a boil. Saturday was devoted to goose riding and traditional evening entertainment. On Sunday, the shooting holiday ended with the ball of the royal couples.

“It was good to meet and talk to so many people after two years. It was a very enjoyable event, ”said Vogel. A festival that didn’t start well for shooters. Some showmen suddenly undressed again or did not come at all, so there was no merry-go-round in the meadows of the Rhine. It’s not good for anyone, said the first boss. As a result, there are fewer visitors, which means losses for the current showmen as well as for the new tent manager Michael Baumeister.

Vogel expressed his disappointment and anger in a speech at the beginning of the festival. Words he wants to put into perspective now. “There was just a lot of frustration that had to get out. Of course, I know that there are also completely different showmen and I would like to apologize to them – he says openly. Showman Sonja Grüne-Lemoine received an apology. “We’ve been coming here for 50 years, in good times and bad, and we’ve never canceled a place. For us, it has something to do with honor as well, ”she said.

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