The weather in Luzern at the beginning of the week was not a good omen for Luzerner Fest 2012 scheduled for Saturday June 30th. However, good fortunate was on our side! Saturday was a beautiful and warm summer day broken up by a brief late afternoon thunder storm. Slightly cooler evening temps created the perfect conditions for thousands of your closest buddies to gather around the KKL, the Kapellbrücke, along the Schweizerhofquai and everywhere in between to enjoy food and drink of all sorts, music and general conviviality.
Arriving at the Luzern train station close to 9pm was a test of my fortitude and desire to bring you some news of this absolutely jammed packed gathering of “Luzerners”. If you are claustrophobic, beware! Crowds moved like turbulent seas crashing against each other and changing direction with each collision. After a few moments, I found my sea legs and was able to go with the flow.
A brief tour around the KKL found the quai covered with people of all ages drinking and eating and dancing in place to music coming from Radio Pilatus stage. The sites and smells and energy were palpable. Moving in the direction of the Schweizerofquai along the Bahnhofplatz took several minutes and was a people jam of epic proportion. Nevertheless, folks just flowed along and arrival on the Schweizerofquai allowed for some elbow room and a moment to pause, look around and snap a photo or two.
Activity was high and loud along the Rathausquai and in and around the Kapellplatz. If you looked hard enough, you could wedge yourself into an empty spot and send out a twitter post ( knocked out a few in real time) and/or drink your beer without wearing it. Further along the Rathausquai past the Kapellbrücke, the congestion eased up a bit and an opportunity to take photos of the Kapellbrücke and the festival activities was found on the Rathaussteg bridge. It was glorious to see how beautiful the the quai on both sides looked with their lights and thrumming crowds. The Kapellbrücke itself, the signature landmark of Luzern, adorned with purple and pink flowers seemed more glorious than usual cast against a darkening sky and glistening lake.
After a quick listen to the the music on stage on the Bahnhofstrasse, it was time to cross the Kapellbrücke and take up a spot on the Schweizerhofquai to await the firework display. Frankly, staying further back, even on the Rathaussteg would have been a better bet. The crowd was extremely dense along the quai and if you are with young children, as many were, consider a different location for enjoying the display.
The Luzernerfest 2012 was a helluva ride and one which is worth experiencing. The event also serves a good cause with money from the purchase of heart shaped buttons from vendors going to “Luzerners Helping Luzern”: a charitable organization supporting various causes. Summer Festivals are anticipated year round and folks come out and celebrate the warmer temperatures with all the energy and single mindedness of bears emerging from hibernation. If you have the privilege of being in Luzern in late June, make the Luzernerfest part of your plans. You won’t be disappointed!