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Markgröningen shepherd run

The Shepherd's Run 2024 in Markgröningen on the market square and in the town center is from Fri. 23 to Mon. 26 August:

The Schäferlauf in Markgröningen is an outstanding folk festival in southern Germany that attracts up to 100,000 visitors every year at the end of August. With roots dating back to the 16th century, this festival combines tradition and the present in a fascinating way, making it an unforgettable experience.


werktat at the Markgröningen shepherd's run

Saturday, August 24, 2024, 8.30 am - 9.30 pm
Sunday, August 25, 2024, 10 am - 9.30 pm

We look forward to welcoming you to the traditional Schäferlauf in Markgröningen on August 24 and 25, 2024. Visit us in the Krämermarkt area and discover our latest creations of exquisite bags and stylish accessories. In addition, a colorful variety of lovingly designed felt products awaits you. Be inspired by our handmade range and enjoy the colorful ambience of the festival.



The main attractions of the Shepherds' Run

The highlight of the Shepherd's Run is undoubtedly the race of the real shepherds, who run barefoot over a distance of 300 steps on a stubble field. The winner is crowned Shepherd King or Shepherd Queen, which is a special honor.

Another highlight is the shepherd's dance, which is famous far beyond the country's borders. The festival play “Der treue Bartel” (The Faithful Bartel) also delights numerous visitors. The large parade with over 50 groups captivates spectators with its magnificent costumes and historical displays.

Four days full of experiences in Markgröningen

Over four days, the Schäferlauf offers a wealth of attractions and activities. Around 150 stalls in the markets offer a variety of goods, while modern and exciting rides provide thrills. Music can be heard everywhere and creates a cheerful atmosphere.


Friday: The kick-off

The festival weekend begins on Friday morning with the performance herding, a professional competition in which shepherds have to herd a flock of sheep with their dogs. This event gives spectators an insight into the everyday life of shepherds and the tasks of sheep farming in nature conservation and landscape management.

On Friday afternoon, the stalls of the Krämermarkt open and in the evening the first performance of the play “Der treue Bartel” takes place in the town hall. On the market square, deserving participants are honored and the rides in the amusement park invite you to take your first ride. Young and old meet in the alleyways and pubs to bring the evening to a convivial close.

Saturday: Tradition and celebration

Saturday begins at 6.30 a.m. with the wake-up call of the marching band and fanfare band. After the chorales of the trombone choir have faded away, the Ludwigsburg district administrator, as successor to the reeve, ceremoniously opens the day's festivities. The guild ark and flag are handed over to the chairman of the state sheep breeding association for the day.

In the morning, the alleyways are already filled with guests enjoying the colorful market. Visitors can find out about traditional production techniques at the craft market, while products from local shepherds are on sale at the sheep market. A petting zoo and a variety of sheep products make for a special experience.

After a traditional church service in St. Bartholomew's Church, a colorful procession with many bands and groups in traditional costume marches through the Upper Gate out onto the stubble field. The grandstands are filled with expectant spectators who watch the performances with rapt attention.

The performances on the stubble field begin with an excerpt from the festival play about the origins of the Shepherd's Run. After popular competitions such as sack races, water carrying and the cock dance, the excitement reaches its climax with the traditional barefoot race. The shepherds' daughters and trained shepherdesses run for the crown, followed by the shepherds who jump over the 300-step course. The winners receive a sheep as a prize and the honor of being Shepherd King or Shepherd Queen for a year.

The shepherd's dance is performed in homage to the royal couple. The procession returns through the decorated alleyways to the market square, where the general dancing fun begins and continues until the early hours of the morning.

Sunday: Festival for the youth

The full program is also offered on Sunday. Another parade with music and magnificent costumes marches through the decorated alleyways to the stubble field. This time, the Markgröningen school children compete for the title of king, and the traditional competitions for children are held as team games. Scenes from the play “Der treue Bartel” (The Faithful Bartel) interrupt the games.

The half-timbered town offers a vibrant festival atmosphere throughout the day. A grocer's market, craft market, shepherd's market and amusement park invite you to linger. Music of various genres, from folk music to jazz, provides a diverse sound experience. Culinary delicacies from all over the world and Swabian specialties such as Maultaschen (ravioli) and potato salad will make visitors indulge.

Monday: Closing with fireworks

On Monday, a number of stalls in the Old Town area offer their wares in the afternoon. In the evening, the funfair and marquees with music attract numerous guests. A brilliant firework display is the grand finale of the Schäferlauf.

There is so much to see and experience at the Schäferlauf that it is impossible to cover everything. That's why we say goodbye: “Goodbye!” - See you next year in Markgröningen.

Markgröningen shepherd run

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