June 30, 1961

Still from the Hessischer Rundfunk's film report on the Hessentag, 1961.
The "Living Chess Game" held on the market square as part of the Hessentag can be seen.

Alsfeld celebrates!1st Hessian Day in Alsfeld

It is no longer possible to determine why Alsfeld was chosen to host the 1st Hessentag. Was it the central location within Hesse or the historic town center that was so attractive to visitors? Or did the choice simply correspond best to the idea of the then Prime Minister Georg-August Zinn to bring together old residents and immigrants with a “Festival of the Hessians”? To convey a feeling of security and home was the overriding goal. And this applied not only to “native” Hessians, but especially to the large number of refugees who had lost their homes as a result of the Second World War, but who had also found a new home in the Alsfeld area.

Considering the long-term and extensive preparations that later Hessian Days required, the inaugural event of 1961 almost seems like a “side event”.

In a magistrate’s meeting on February 17, the mayor only gave the decision from Wiesbaden “for information” under agenda item 19. The whole thing was also not to take place independently, but in connection with the traditional premium market from June 30 to July 3. The program included sports and cultural events, but the highlight was a final procession, a fixed component of all subsequent Hessentage events. NH