Soon, it will be time again for the “Kölner Lichter”, Cologne’s festival of lights, to attract almost one million visitors to the city. On July 15th, the rockets are launched into the sky for the 17th time. There are many events that attract large crowds of visitors every year. The huge firework display, however, is special and something everyone should experience.
“The Cologne Experiment”
An exciting "experiment" is planned for the upcoming Kölner Lichter.For the first time visitors will be a part of the show and will sing the songs accompanying the fireworks themselves. More than 1,400 song proposals were submitted and 20 songs were selected. With titles ranging from Queen with "We will rock you" to "Angels" by Robbie Williams, or "We are the world" there is something for every taste.
It’s party time on the Rhine
Festivities start early on the big day with musical entertainment at the Tanzbrunnen. This is the perfect time to sample some local foods (vegetarians be warned: there is a lot of meat on traditional menus) and to try a glass or two of the region’s famous Kölsch beer, usually served from a slim glass.
Then at about 8.30pm, it’s time for the ships to start their procession down the Rhine. These cruise ships – 50 in total, all decorated with colored lights – are welcomed with a curtain of fire at the Deutz Bridge, where thousands of people excitedly wave sparklers. And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the main fireworks display, which is launched from a 240-metre pontoon formation in the river, lasts for a full 30 minutes.
Enjoy the fireworks up close
For some of the best views you can travel on board of one the ships traveling down the Rhine.
Most ships offer their guests food and entertainment and you can watch the breathtaking fireworks spectacle from the water. Many ships are already fully booked; however, there are still some tickets available which you should secure quickly!
Every year hundreds of thousands visitors come from all over Germany to witness the spectacular fireworks live. Should you decide to visit it is therefore advisable to book a room early before all the centrally located hotels are full. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Cologne is a short walk from the banks of the Rhine and just three kilometers from the Cologne Cathedral and the historic city center, making it the ideal accommodation to watch the festival of lights.