What started in 1969 as a small parade has become the largest cultural event of the summer in Zermatt. Different Swiss folklore clubs and groups display their traditions with music, traditional dress, dances and colourful costumes from a nostalgic age. The highlight is a major parade through Zermatt on Sunday where around 1,000 participants make part of it. There will also be music and dance presentations, children’s activities and games as well as refreshments. The entire proceeds from this year’s event will be contributed to the Zermatt Youth Fund. Every franc raised will help the youth in Zermatt to fund a variety of local projects.
The programme boasts a variety of events:
- Yodel mass in the parish church of St Mauritius
- Presentations by the groups and refreshments on the festival ground and church square
- Folklore parade through Zermatt
The festival parade starts at the train station, continues along Bahnhofstrasse to the church and then crosses the Kirchbrücke to the other side of the Vispa river. The party continues along Steinmattstrasse, before heading over the bridge to the jetty and finally to the Obere Matten fairground.
The parade is filled with people in traditional costumes, drummers, yodelling choirs, marching bands and other musical groups, folk dancers, flag wavers, the Grenadiers of God, as well as musicians playing hunting horns, alpine horns and cowbells. Guests from all around the world visit Zermatt to witness this lively celebration of Swiss culture.