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No Christmas market in downtown Bonn

The popular Christmas market in downtown Bonn will not be held this year due to the currently increasing number of corona infections. This decision was announced by the city administration at a meeting with Bonn showmen on Friday, October 9, 2020.

The administration has examined and evaluated various options to determine whether and under what conditions a Christmas market could take place. 

According to the current legal situation in North Rhine-Westphalia, special markets and similar events, which also includes Christmas markets, are generally permissible, but only under strict health and hygiene conditions. Compliance with these requirements is not realistic for a Christmas market of this size.

Feasibility study included in the decision

The evaluation also took into account a feasibility study commissioned by the German Showmen's Association. Based on the experiences of the last weeks and the current continuously increasing infection rates, the solutions presented here are not or only to a very limited extent feasible. 

After considering all aspects, the city administration has come to the decision to cancel this year's Christmas market.

Politically agreed design plan

From the city's point of view, even a significantly reduced variant is not feasible, mainly because of legal hurdles. For the Christmas market there is a design plan decided by the Bonn district council, from which it is not possible to deviate easily. Any change in the plan would have to be corrected by a new approval procedure for reasons of legal certainty. This would affect the geographic expansion of the market as well as the possibility of reducing the number of stalls to allow for greater distances. The decision not to consider already selected applicants in a smaller variant would also be legally unacceptable without a new approval procedure. 

All applicants will be notified of the decision in the next few days, as will the retail trade in Bonn. 

The city of Bonn also wants to avoid the scenario that the market is being set up as a temporary leisure park with a lot of commitment and work and that this will have to be closed by the authorities after a few days due to increased infection figures. Feeders might then be left sitting on their purchased goods. 

Whether other Christmas markets, where the city is not the organizer itself, are possible in the city area is not yet certain. If hygiene concepts are submitted, the city, as the regulatory authority, will examine them and decide on a permit.  

It is a tough decision for all parties involved, and at the same time there is no realistic alternative that meets the requirements of infection control. Therefore, the city administration hopes for the understanding of those affected and that the situation will ease considerably in the coming year and Christmas markets will then be possible again.

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  • Pixabay
  • Foto: Barbara Frommann für Stadtwerke Bonn
  • Sascha Engst/Bundesstadt Bonn
  • Bundesstadt Bonn
  • Mika Baumeister/
  • Giacomo Zucca/Bundesstadt Bonn

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