ANSBACH, Germany (July 29, 2016) -- "Was ist los in Franken?" details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout Middle, Lower and Upper Franconia.

Bardentreffen in Nürnberg
The popular annual Nürnberg Bardentreffen is a "bards' meet" for singers and songwriters with a four-decade-old tradition. More than 200 000 visitors attend the outdoor festival every year, to listen to artists and bands from all over the world. It takes place in various locations, like the Hauptmarkt, Insel Schütt, St. Katharina, Lorenzer Platz, Sebalder Platz, Kreuzigungshof and Trödelmarkt on July 29 through 31; the musical spectrum ranges from Classic Rock to Pop and Jazz and Avant Garde or Cabaret type performances. Admission is free! To learn more go to www.bardentreffen.de

Weinfest - Frankenwinheim
A wine fest takes place in Frankenwinheim July 29 to Aug.1. Local musicians provide the musical entertainment, while visitors enjoy local wines and food; fireworks conclude the event on closing night at 10:30 p.m. For more information go to www.frankenwinheim.de

See in Flammen -- Lake in flames
Illuminated sailboats and ferries will travel the Altmühlsee near Seezentrum Schlungenhof on Saturday, July 30, starting at 7 p.m. during the event "Lake in Flames." Members of the life guard will swim out with torches for a coordinated swim performance; fireworks at about 10 p.m. close the event. To learn more, visit www.gunzenhausen.info

German School Break
The summer break in Bavaria starts on July 30 and ends on September 12; the children in Baden-Wuerttemberg start and finish two days earlier. Expect heavy traffic and long traffic jams, especially on the Autobahns going south and coming back during that time. For current traffic updates go to www.bayerninfo.de (in English), www.adac.de/reise_freizeit/verkehr, www.verkehrsinfo.de or www.verkehrsinformation.de

Summer Fest in the Museum
The historical outdoor museum in Bad Windsheim is celebrating a summer fest on July 30 and 31; highlight of the fest are the historical parades, both days at 1 p.m. and the crafters showing old and almost forgotten skills. To learn more, visit http://freilandmuseum.de/aktionen/sommerfest.html

Beer Week in Kulmbach
One of the largest beer fests takes place July 30 to Aug. 7 on Zentralparkplatz in Kulmbach. Program highlights include the opening parade of the beer brewers and the fan parade on Sunday at noon. To learn more about the fest, visit www.kulmbacher-bierwoche.de

Craft and Farmers' Market with Wine Fest in Obernzenn
Obernzenn is hosting the "Handwerk- und Bauernmarkt" July 31. More than 70 groups of participants show off their skills and products. A church service kicks off the event at 10 a.m., the market opens at 11 a.m. Guided tours of the "Blaues Schloss" take place at 3 and 4 p.m.; live music and culinary specialties complete the event.

Kirchweih in Eyb
Ansbach-Eyb is celebrating the annual traditional Kirchweih fest August 5 through 8. The Kirchweih tree will be raised on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. Another fest highlight is the parade on Sunday at 2 p.m. with many local clubs and music groups; the parade starts in Industriestrasse, moving to Eyber Strasse and finally to the Dorfplatz. Fresh, traditional Kirchweihküchle, donut-type baked goodies, will be sold on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Medieval Market in Ahorntal
Burg Rabenstein in Ahorntal is site of a medieval market August 5 through 8; it offers visitors a chance to travel back in time with jostlers and jesters, field battles and show fights, bow and arrow tournaments, puppet theater for kids, historical groups besieging the castle, and old crafts revived; a fire show takes place after dark. Admission for adults is 7.50 euros, for children 4 euros; a family ticket for 20 euros is also available. Children shorter than one sword length (1 meter) enter for free. Opening hours are Friday noon -- 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. To learn more, visit www.burg-rabenstein.de.

Open House at the Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Ansbach
The mini zoo for rescued tigers and other exotic animals in Ansbach-Wallersdorf is hosting their monthly open house on Sunday, Aug. 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. Guided tours take place every full hour. Visitors will be well taken care of with beverages and food. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/Raubtier-und-Exotenasyl-AnsbachWallersdorf-eV-281469090873

State Garden Show in Bayreuth
Every year the state of Bavaria hosts a garden show in a different location; landscapes are transformed into beautiful garden scenes, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. This year the "Landesgartenschau" is located in Bayreuth, capital of Upper Franconia. The show is open daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until October 9 along the Roter Main River (Friedrich-Ebert-Straße/Äußere Badstraße). Day tickets are available for 16 euros for adults, an annual pass is 100 euros; children 7-17 years old pay 3 euros per day or 25 for the annual pass. Visitors arriving by train at the Bayreuth Bahnhof can use a free shuttle to the location and will receive a 2 euro discount on their (adult's) ticket by showing the train pass. To learn more about the garden show, visit www.landesgartenschau2016.de

Kinderzoo in Dürrwangen
A new Kinderzoo with circus animals opened in Dürrwangen-Haslach (Kreuzfeld 21). The animals - ponies, donkeys, horses, goats, camels and more - are usually touring the region with a small circus ensemble, but are staying on the farm for the summer. Contrary to normal zoo animals, these are kept entertained and challenged with games and training to avoid boredom. The zoo offers rides on elephants and ponies, carriage rides through the forest, a kiddie train, a water basin with row boats and an outdoor playground. It is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during German school breaks (July 30-Sept. 4) and on the weekends until Sept. 4. To learn more, visit www.wille-kinderzoo.de

Volksmarch Hiking Days
Volksmarches or "Internationale Wandertage" are a form of non-competitive physical fitness training, which takes the participants through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany. The walking distance varies from 5 to 10 or 20 kilometer routes on scenic trails through forests, along rivers and lakes or around historic sites. There is no set start time, but a window of time for hikers to start the route, and finish it at their own pace. Trails are typically marked well along the way. Many trails are stroller-friendly and provide great opportunity to explore the countryside. After the walk the local hiking clubs usually offer food and drink in a hall or tent, sometimes even at a half-way point. Avid hikers can get a hiking passport stamped each place they participate, and many clubs reward their visitors with a small token. To learn more about Volksmarches in Germany, visit DVV Wandern in the "Related Links" section.

Upcoming Volksmarch events in and around Franconia:

* August 6 and 7 in Oberdachstetten: Wandertag distances are 6,10 and 20 kilometers. The event starts at Rezattalhalle (Schulstraße 5, 91617 Oberdachstetten) 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; to learn more, visit http://www.dvv-wandern.de/files/documents/ausschreibungen_wandertage/fr/Oberdachstetten06u.07.08.2016.pdfOberdachstetten

* August 20 and 21 in Crailsheim: Distances are 5, 11, 20, 21, 30 and 42 kilometers; start is at Hirtenwiesenhalle (Bürgermeister-Demuth-Allee 2, 74564 Crailsheim) on both days at 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (5, 11 km), 5:30 a.m. to noon (21 km), 5:30 to 11:30 a.m. (30 km) and 5:30 to 9 a.m. (42 km). To learn more, visit http://www.dvv-wandern.de/files/documents/ausschreibungen_wandertage/bw/2016/w_august_crailsheim2016.pdf