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Every year since 1994 Erfurt Theatre has staged a new play on the Cathedral square as part of this unique outdoor spectacular set against the impressive 700-year-old backdrop of St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Severus church. The Cathedral Steps Theatre Festival, which runs from 10 to 27 July 2014, is a highlight of the summer. The open-air event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, not only from all over Germany but also from numerous other European countries and even from the USA, China and Australia. This year's production is entitled 'Jedermann' (Everyman) – a rock opera that is guaranteed to entertain everyone.

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Visitors to this year's Bad Oeynhausen park festival of lights, on from 1 to 3 August 2014, are in for a treat, with lots of up-and-coming German musicians, impressive light installations, exhilarating shows and a spectacular fireworks display.

On the Friday the spa gardens are transformed into a stage for an open-air concert, but by Saturday the park is restored to its full glory. Taking 'light' as its theme, the event encompasses magnificent illuminations, sound collages and striking installations. Sunday's programme is family-oriented, with exciting hands-on activities and tricky obstacle courses to keep younger guests entertained.

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The 100MeilenBerlin on 16 August 2014 is a running event held in memory of the victims of the Berlin Wall. The 160.9 kilometre (100 mile) course traces the exact path of the former frontier, guiding athletes around western Berlin. As usual, the run is being held on the weekend after 13 August, which is an official day of remembrance. It was on this date in 1961 that work began on fortifying the border with concrete and barbed wire.

Another energetic way of discovering the former border installations is on the Berlin Wall Trail, a cycle route that runs along the former border between East and West Germany.

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From 11 to 20 July 2014 the festival grounds in Düsseldorf will be the site of the 113th Rheinkirmes fair, also known as the biggest funfair on the Rhine thanks to its festival marquees and its countless fairground attractions. If you want to regain your strength after a trip on one of the many exhilarating rides, you needn't go far. With row upon row of stalls serving delicious food, from bratwurst to lobster, there's everything you could possibly wish for.

The final Friday of this enormous event goes with a bang in the shape of a firework spectacular. Towards 10.30pm a dramatic pyrotechnic display lights up the festival grounds and Düsseldorf's old quarter.

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The State Museum of Archaeology in Chemnitz, located in the iconic semi-circular building of a former department store on Brückenstrasse, has only very recently opened its doors to the public. Inside, a permanent collection of over 6,000 exhibits presents the archaeological treasures of the federal state of Saxony. The exhibition, which covers around 3,000 square metres across three floors, provides a fascinating timeline of Saxony from the days of the first hunter-gatherers some 300,000 years ago through to the early industrial era.

Don't miss your chance to retrace the history of mankind from the Early Stone Age through to early industrialisation!

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Calling all sailing fans! From 5 to 13 July 2014 the Baltic coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania provides the setting for an event of a very special kind – Warnemünde Week. As in previous years, some 2,000 sailors from over 20 countries will take part in this maritime spectacle. Top sporting events on the programme include the European Cup and the German Open. There are plenty of fun and games to enjoy on dry land too, with an exhilarating beach party and a summer festival offering visitors a range of activities such as dragon boat races and beach handball.

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If you like the sound of rousing live music, stalls stocked with original goods, and innovative theatre groups from Bremen's arts scene then head to the Osterdeich in Bremen between 23 and 27 July 2014 for the 27th annual Breminale.

This festival on the Weser riverbank includes a very special event for cycling enthusiasts on 27 July 2014 – the Bike Festival presented by the German Cyclists' Federation (ADFC). It showcases the wonderful world of bicycles, and features fun contests and competitions for cyclists young and old.

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Hannover will be hosting the Lake Maschsee Festival from 30 July to 17 August this year. For these 19 days, the promenade around Lake Maschsee, the 'blue heart' of Hannover, will be transformed into a vibrant open-air festival, offering fun and entertainment for young and old alike.

The four large stages around the lake present live music covering various genres, while the festival food and drink is creatively themed on pirate landscapes, seafaring romance, lighthouses and beach lounges.

Celebrate with friends, family or colleagues – enjoy an evening of dancing under open skies, a relaxed glass of wine or delicious cocktails in good company.

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On 19 July 2014 the hugely popular Cologne Lights festival will be taking place in Cologne. Throughout the day, there will be a varied programme of events and live performances, culminating in a musical firework display at 11.30pm.

There are many different places from which you can watch the fireworks, but one of the best vantage points is undoubtedly from the boats on the Rhine, which also offer sightseeing cruises. The traditional riverboat parade features a total of 50 boats. Be part of it and enjoy the spectacular fireworks!

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The Brezelfest or 'pretzel festival' is as much part of Speyer as its cathedral. It is the festival of festivals in Speyer and a prime example of tradition in Germany.

From 10 to 17 July 2014 there will be fun, entertainment and a lively atmosphere at the festival site below Speyer Cathedral. As well as modern and traditional fairground rides and attractions, you can expect welcoming beer gardens, a huge festival tent and a daily programme of live music on three stages. Sunday is the day of the traditional Brezelfest run, followed by the festival procession through the city centre featuring around 100 floats.

If Speyer is too far to travel, you might like to visit the pretzel festival in Bottrop-Kirchhellen, North Rhine-Westphalia, on 8 September 2014.

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