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German motorway hosts 60 km-long street party

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German motorway hosts 60 km-long street party


One of Europe’s busiest motorways has played host to a different sort of traffic, with a giant street festival taking the place of endless rows of cars.

Some three million people turned out to party on a German autobahn without any autos.

A total of 60 kilometres of the A40 were closed between the cities of Dortmund and Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The jamboree was organised as part of the western Ruhr area’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.

There seemed to be something to please everyone, with dancing, martial arts and magicians among the festivities.

The regional leader was delighted.

“For me, this is simply great,” said Hannelore Kraft, Prime Minster of North Rhine-Westphalia.
“I grew up right next to the A40. And now, once again, I am living very close to the A40 so this has accompanied me throughout my life.”

Those taking part were also enjoying the change.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said one woman. “To be sitting here with so many people, making jigsaw puzzles. Well, that gives you a very special awareness of the city.”

Wheels were in evidence on the highway, in the form of bicycles. And some 20,000 tables were set out for what organisers called “the longest banquet in the world”.

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