street party - 'Still Life' sets world record
DORTMUND, Germany --The most-travelled motorway in
Germany A40 was transformed into a picnic area for the weekend
in a fun event called Still-Life that involved a 37-mile-long
table , setting the world record for the Longest
street party. Photo: An estimated three million people
turned out for a celebration
on a Sunday between the cities of Dortmund and Duisburg in
Germany's most populated region. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner
A radio traffic report warned that the road
was closed between Duisburg and Dortmund because of “the longest
table in the world.’’
A festival spokesman said an estimated 3 million
people turned out amid fine weather, 1 million of them with
their bicycles, to celebrate on the highway between Dortmund
and Bochum, in western Germany.
Tens of thousands sat at the table, which
was made up of 20,000 individual tables, spokesman Oliver
As part of its year as the 2010 European
capital of culture, visitors on foot, bike and inline skates
have displaced the usual noisy traffic of the highway at the
heart of this industrial region.
20,000 tables were lined up on the northbound
lane of the A40, forming the main event area. Several smaller
stages and tables were also set up for local cultural groups
to give visitors a flavor of the cultural diversity of Germany's
The southbound lane was kept free for cyclists,
skaters and walkers.
The idea for 'Still life' came from
a similar New York event. Fritz Pleitgen, the director of
RUHR.2010 had the idea for the event when he was working as
a correspondent in New York for the German public broadcaster
ARD in the 1980s. He said he saw how a highway was closed
on Sundays in the summer to allow walkers, inline skaters
and cyclists to use the lanes.
Pleitgen brought the idea to Germany and
said he hopes that this will create something that "connects"
people. He thinks the "Still life" project has the ability
to become "an emotional founding moment of the Ruhr metropolis."
It is all part of a piece of living artwork
called "Still life: Ruhrschnellweg" or the "Ruhr speedway."
Where normally thousands of cars and trucks rush by everyday,
the highway was transformed into a huge area for a summer