Saint Marjan celebrates the Black Forest horses at Rovest – Saint Marjan

On May 30, Rofest Weekend will be celebrated in St. Badische Zeitung introduces the people behind the festival, where the whole village will be on their feet.

Rofest was first invited in September 1949: it wasn’t just a horse show, but a home and community festival. It was celebrated annually until 1953, then every two years and then every three years. Over 25,000 visitors have already been counted, the most notable being Sunday’s parade.

rural women

Country women are an integral part of Rofest – and twice. On the one hand, they host the famous café. This means being ready on Saturday from 10 am and Sunday from 6 am. Before and in between you have to bake. How many over-the-counter cakes? “My dear – I have no idea,” says Maria Lffler-Hog of the management team. One thing is for sure: The most popular cake is Schwarzwalder. From the living room to the street is the Sunday motto of a part of the rustic accompanying the show. Sometimes – as it was about three years ago – with an elaborate wagon, but always in farmer’s work clothes or traditional clothing. How big the group is will be a secret to the other: “You can also join automatically.” Well dressed, of course.

organizers

A big festival needs a lot of help, a lot of effort – and a few people to organize it all. The six-person organizational team consists of Florian Haug, Eckhard Waldvogel, Robin Waldvogel, Mick Likert, Tobias Vahler, and Nico Waldvogel (not pictured). They ensure that everything is in place at the start of the festival – tents, benches, helpers. In Eckhard Waldvogel the filaments come together. The 59-year-old helped create Rofest for the first time in 1983. He has been the lead organizer for 18 years. The festival means a lot to him: “You know a lot of old people, who I came through, and who went on with everything. Now it’s our turn to keep going.” Over 300 assistants work permanently in and around Schwarzwaldhalle, Weitannenhalle and the riding arena during the festival weekend to ensure visitors’ physical well-being is taken care of.

rickshaw driver

Even as a young boy, Marcus Schuler participated in the roost’s procession. “I first ran in the early ’80s when I was seven or eight,” he says. His father and grandfather also went with him. The Schuller family has traditionally participated in the parade with a blacksmith’s cart, ever since they took over the Thorner blacksmith shop in 1869. But this year, the car carrying the blacksmith’s gallery will no longer exist because there hasn’t been enough time to prepare it. Schuller walks anyway – in his carriage at the festival. It’s ornate and pulled by two black forest foxes and loaded with notable stirrups: “It’s my honor to take the mayor with me.” According to Schuller, horse owners and everyone else in St. Margner are looking forward to the festival. For months, there have been rehearsals for riding and driving demonstrations, and seat belts and buggies being cleaned and decorated. “It’s an important event every three years.”

rickshaw driver

Even as a young boy, Marcus Schuler participated in the roost’s procession. “I first ran in the early ’80s when I was seven or eight,” he says. His father and grandfather also went with him. The Schuller family has traditionally participated in the parade with a blacksmith’s cart, ever since they took over the Thorner blacksmith shop in 1869. But this year, the car carrying the blacksmith’s gallery will no longer exist because there hasn’t been enough time to prepare it. Schuller walks anyway – in his carriage at the festival. It’s ornate and pulled by two black forest foxes and loaded with notable stirrups: “It’s my honor to take the mayor with me.” According to Schuller, horse owners and everyone else in St. Margner are looking forward to the festival. For months, there have been rehearsals for riding and driving demonstrations, and seat belts and buggies being cleaned and decorated. “It’s an important event every three years.”

kitchen help

No roost without assistants. One of the many volunteers working all weekend is Hedwig Dold. For three days, the 73-year-old’s workplace was the big festival kitchen. When asked how long she spent grilling, frying, eating, and arranging to feed thousands of hungry guests, she answered succinctly: “Always.” But then Hedwig Dold goes on to make it clear that it takes not a little, but a lot of people to ensure the festival is a success. She stresses over and over again: “I’m only one of them.” The village community works side by side, including the kitchen. “We’re a great team,” says Dold. “And we have fun creating – there’s a lot of laughter.” That’s why you always look forward to the festival, even if it means work above all else. Except when on the move: Hedwig Dold sneaks in to watch.

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