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    Monday, July 19, 2010

  Longest 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

  (enlarge photo)

   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 Haenig said.

    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 Ruhrgebiet.

    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 party.

   Germany has no general speed limit for its famous autobahns, and drivers often go 125 miles per hour or more. In dense or dangerous areas, they may be required to slow down to 75.

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   Monday, July 19, 2010

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