Every three years, the city of Zurich becomes inundated with revelers from all over Switzerland for what is billed as “Switzerland’s biggest party,” Züri Fäscht. Celebrated as far back as 1932, the festival has been administered by an official organization since 1991, and since that time the festivities have been held at regularly scheduled intervals during the first week of July. The largest turnouts thus far were in 1986 (when the city celebrated “2000 years of Zurich”), and 1991 (when celebrations coincided with the 700th anniversary of the formation of the Swiss Confederation).
Festivities at the 2010 event featured live shows, theatre, and musical acts on 60 stages throughout the city, dozens of specialty stalls serving authentic regional cuisine from all over the country, and more than a hundred stands selling gifts and novelty items. On Friday and Saturday evening, more than a million visitors lined the lake for massive fireworks displays (more than 2 million visitors attended the festival in all). Just to give you some idea of the scale of the celebrations, consider that the city had to offer more than 400 additional trains and 1,000 buses and trams to accommodate the influx into the city (never mind the sanitary facilities required to meet visitors’ needs).
Dates for the next Züri Fäscht are July 5–7, 2013. Suffice it to say, some careful planning and advanced booking (particularly at the hotels) are absolute musts, particularly for prospective revelers with families