Triennial festival kicks off in Zurich
More than two million people are expected to turn out in Zurich this weekend for Züri Fäscht, a popular festival held only once every three years around Zurich’s lake and Limmat river.
Musical performances, fairground rides, food and drink stands and market stalls form the basis of the festival, which is rounded off on each of the three nights (Friday to Sunday) by a spectacular 30-minute fireworks display over the lake.
In a first for the festival, which dates from 1951, this year’s fireworks displays will be followed by a new attraction, the projection of 3D images in the sky above the lake by 150 drones.
According to the festival organisers, the drones will be powered by renewable energy – unlike the planes that will take part in aerial displays during the festival, a bone of contention among critics of the event.
Crowds turn out for the festival in 2016. Photo: Züri Fäscht
The first Zurich festival was held in 1951 to celebrate 600 years since the canton of Zurich joined the Swiss Confederation. Since 1976 it has been held every three years, but only took the name Züri Fäscht in the 1990s.
Swiss railway operator will lay on extra trains to Zurich, while the ZVV tram service will operate 24 hours a day during the weekend.
Visitors coming into the city from Zurich-Wollishofen can also benefit from a free ride on the Red Arrow train, a historic vehicle presented as an example of Swiss workmanship at the Swiss National Exhibition in 1939. The train is nicknamed the ‘Churchill’, because former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill travelled through Switzerland on it in 1946.
The Churchill will operate as a free shuttle every hour between Zurich main station and Wollishofen from around 9am to 6pm.
Good weather is forecast in Zurich for Friday and most of Saturday, until storms arrive on Saturday night, bringing rain for much of Sunday, according to MeteoSuisse.