Herbstmesse Last Day and Wrap-Up

The 2023 Basler Herbstmesse (Fall Fair) ended last Sunday at five of the six fair venues in the city; however, the site at Petersplatz with its Hääfelimäärt (dishware alley) and 272 other offers for shopping, strolling, eating, and enjoying, only ends today, Tuesday November 14, at 20:00. This is your last chance to visit the 212 wares stands, 25 confectionery stands, and 28 food outlets. For children there are two carousels, a Formula 1 track, a trampoline, a family roller coaster, a Punch and Judy show and a duck race. The little crafts village (“Handwerkerdörfli”), where six stand operators demonstrate their craftsmanship in glass processing, ointment production, and old printing processes invite visitors to take part every half hour between 13:00 and 18:30 for one last time this year.

But even with these last activities still ongoing, organizers have already drawn some conclusions about this 2023 Herbstmesse. Overall, despite the less-than-ideal weather, the fair was considered another successful edition. Organizers and representatives of the stall holders at the fair are very satisfied with the course and the number of visitors, despite frequent rain showers. It cannot be labelled a top year, but a very high number of visitors was recorded, especially on the weekends. The 22 new offers were particularly well received, and the shortened duration of the indoor location in Halle 1 of the Messe Basel, which had to conclude on November 5 to make room for an upcoming fair, also yielded a satisfactory number of visitors.

As with every year however, the autumn fair did not go off entirely without any hitches. The indoor location at Halle 1, despite only being open during the first week of the fair, was the location of a serious bodily injury to a 17-year-old teenager. The alleged perpetrators have been arrested but the hall was the focus of police activity due to the high number of visitors. In addition to uniformed units, the youth and prevention police also patrolled those hotspots that required the presence of law enforcement officers due to the mixture of youthful arrogance and the consumption of various substances. Overall, the police had to be called out seven times because of fights or assaults. On several occasions, the emergency services were able to stop impending confrontations through early intervention and thus prevent further acts of violence. A temporary expulsion had to be issued twice. On a positive note, out of a total of 61 identity checks conducted during the fair, the police were only able to find one knife being carried. The Basel-Stadt cantonal police was also able to help with smaller problems, such as the return of 32 lost items and reuniting seven children who had gotten lost in the crowd with their parents.