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The History of the Internationale Strassenfest Sindelfingen

On a cold Saturday in September 1977, the first international festival took place. Friedrich Fausten, commissioner for foreigners of the City of Sindelfingen, was the "father" of this festival. He knew the integration problems of our foreign fellow citizens and wanted to bring the cultures, customs and practices closer to the locals. The joint celebration should contribute to a better understanding between Germans and foreigners, prejudices should be reduced and mutual understanding should be strengthened.

In the early years there was only one podium in the Untere Vorstadt, but the Internationale Strassenfest Sindelfingen became a festival of nations with international flair. The focus of this event was always bringing people from different nations together and getting to know each other better while celebrating together. The festival became more and more a platform of Sindelfingen's twin cities and the native regions of our foreign citizens. This created new friendships that filled these official contacts with life.

The date of the festival was moved to June and soon there was also a play-area for the children, at the time organised by the local kindergartens in Sindelfingen. In the 1980s, the disability associations, in cooperation with the municipality of Sindelfingen, celebrated the "Tag der Begegnung" on the market square on Sunday. These two events merged into a 2-day event in which the disability association was integrated.

An official brochure with greetings from Liselotte Funcke, the former foreigners' official of the government in Bonn, followed in 1987. In 1990, the city of Sindelfingen received the "Commitment to a cosmopolitan community award" for the project "One World for All". The jury included Ms. Liselotte Funcke, Ph.D. Georg Hüssler, President of the German Caritas Association, Kamal Kassem, Chairman of the Foreigners' Council of the City of Rheine, Walter Koisser and Dr. med. Spyros Marinos.

1991 in Yugoslavia the war started, but Croatians and Serbs celebrated peacefully in Sindelfingen. To demonstrate solidarity to the participating groups from these countries, a peace prayer was held in 1991 for the first time before the opening. Many more followed.

A financial crisis caused the festival to totter in 1992. But the participating associations and groups wanted to continue with the festival. Thus in January of 1993 the association Internationales Strassenfest Sindelfingen e.V. was founded, as we know it today. When the club was founded the same goals were set as at the first festival in 1977, under the motto "Celebrating Together".

In the very first year, Prof. Dr. Rita Süßmuth, president of the German Federal Parliament at the time, became patroness of the festival. Followed by Erwin Teufel, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Torgau's mayor Wolfgang Gerstenberg, Brigitte Baumeister MdB, Dr. Hans-Joachim Schöpf, Plant Manager of the Damler-Benz AG Sindelfingen and Alcide Molteni, Mayor of the twin city Sondrio / Italy.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Strassenfest, the Friday was also included in the festive event until today. In spite of many crises, the organizers of the Strassenfest did not let down and are proud to have celebrated the 42nd Internationale Strassenfest Sindelfingen this year, abiding by the motto "Celebrating Together".

Doris Tevnan