One more day and on 12. April sees the start of the state horticultural show in wurzburg. Prime minister markus soder will open the major event, which will last until october. It was also soder who, seven years ago, on the very 25th of. May 2011, the small garden show in kitzingen opened, at that time still as minister of finance.
The little sister
The state horticultural show like the one now in wurzburg is bigger and lasts longer than the little garden show. It is something like the little sister of the state horticultural show. It has been held in bavaria every two years since 1995 and is intended to bring about improvements in the green and recreational structures.
Such a small garden show ran in kitzingen in 2011 under the title nature in kitzingen (NIK). The garden show on the main is unforgotten in the city and has gone down in history as a summer fairy tale. After the 1250th anniversary in 1995, it was by far the largest event in the city and has left lasting traces.
80 percent preserved
What has remained is above all the garden show area on the sthashauser side of the main river. "80 percent of the site will remain for the people of kitzingen," said hilmar hein after the end of nik. For two years, the current head of civil engineering at the town hall, together with christina zauner, was the managing director of a company founded especially for the garden show, which has since been dissolved again, and represented the interests of the town.
The nine-hectare area between the main bridges, with its city balconies that open up the site to the main, its open spaces, flower and shrub beds, the integration garden, playgrounds and the cycle and walking path that runs through the middle of it, shapes the face of the eastern side of the main river.
Local recreation area
The site was accepted by the people of kitzingen immediately after the end of the garden show. It has become the local recreation area right next to the city center. Cyclists are out and about, boules players are active, and the playgrounds for young and old are well frequented. Hikers and walkers make intensive use of the bridge circuit with its views of the old town, which has meanwhile been signposted by the hiking association schiefer turm. Just how important the site is to the people of kitzingen was demonstrated a few years ago by a garden fair, for which the site was briefly fenced off – massive protest was the result.
A look back
What kitzingen has gained from the small garden show can best be seen by remembering what came before it. A long row of tall poplars dominated the sthashauser mainufer. The main was barely visible. The bimbach was led directly into the main in a concrete bed. At the place with the most beautiful view of kitzingen’s chocolate side the mobile homes had found their location. The mainrad hiking trail already led through the grounds, but the views of the old town were rather rare, those into the backyards of the sthashauser gardeners rather not to be recommended. Traffic squeezed across the narrow old bridge over the main river.
All this is history since 2011. The poplars have fallen – albeit under protest. The area towards the main is open. After the northern bypass was opened in spring 2011, the old main bridge was closed to traffic. Initially only for the duration of the garden show, then permanently. The bimbach has regained its natural course. The mobile home park has been moved to the north bridge. The site, which cost around 4.7 million euros to redesign, has been visibly upgraded for everyone.
87 days of celebrations
Many people in kitzingen have not forgotten the show itself and the 87 days between may and august 2011. It was not only mayor siegfried muller who repeatedly referred to the open and friendly atmosphere during the 2006 soccer world championship in germany as a summer fairy tale.
When the final fireworks shot into the sky at the end of august 2011, a balance sheet was drawn up. "The small garden show made the town of kitzingen really big in 2011," said walter vierrether, then head of the tourist information office. The numbers show that the city was literally stormed: the number of guided tours exploded from 130 in 2010 to 849. The number of appearances by the court council and the royalty rose from 200 to 290.
The organizers had expected 250,000 visitors. A good 312 000 had come. Almost 8400 season tickets had been sold and over 1400 events over 87 days had provided entertainment.
Club takes over
After the end, the question of subsequent use moved to center stage. It was clear that the city’s gardeners would take care of it. The garden show grounds association was founded to promote life on the grounds. Rolf wenkheimer has been chairman since 2012 and is currently planning the program for 2018, including monthly musical "fruhschoppen". The gardeners are also involved – as always since 2011 – with the festival around the salad flower, which is also a "child" of the garden show.
Idea from 2001
Back to square one: the idea for the garden show was put on the table in 2001 by the then CSU faction leader hugo weiglein. The city council was in favor. Kitzingen first applied for 2009, failed at rain am lech and got two years his unforgotten summer fairy tale.