Weekend at the Jade

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Ship parade

The weekend at the Jade (WadJ) is an annual festival in Wilhelmshaven on the first weekend in July .


As early as 1950, the city of Wilhelmshaven held an annual beach festival with large fireworks at sea in the evening. It was the highlight of the Wilhelmshaven bathing season and attracted 3,500 spectators to the Wilhelmshaven south beach . From the mid-1950s, the evening turned into a “Day on the Jade”. In 1965, the "Day on the Jade" was not celebrated on the south beach as usual because of construction work on the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge , but in several places in the city and on Wilhelmshaven's Genius Beach, also there with a final fireworks display that was seen by 30,000 spectators.

From 1966 the “Day at the Jade” became the “Weekend at the Jade”. From 1975 to 1983 the “Weekend at the Jade” was no longer celebrated on the south beach, but celebrated around the town hall square . There was also a shift in focus to more international topics. In 1975 the first international “Weekend on the Jade” was marked by the town twinning with the French town of Vichy . In 1976 the festival took place under the sign of "200 years of the USA", in 1977 Poland was a guest, in 1978 Austria followed, and in 1979 Great Britain. From 1979 onwards, the “Weekend on the Jade” expanded spatially. The celebrations were not only held on Rathausplatz, but also for the first time at other locations, e.g. B. with the "Windfest" at the leisure center Pumpwerk . In 1980 Hungary presented itself in the Jade City, in 1981 it was Finland's turn and in 1982 the motto “Good friendship and neighborliness to the province of Groningen” was chosen and the neighboring Netherlands was the guest. 1983 was not celebrated with an international theme, but went back 600 years. "600 years of Sibetsburg " were celebrated with a medieval knight tournament.

From 1984 the now nationally known festival on the Jade changed its character and became more of a port festival due to the move to the Great Harbor. Around 300,000 visitors found their way to the new venues around the Great Harbor. The first traditional sailing ship, the Norwegian three-masted ship Sørlandet, moored at Bontekai . With this move, the date of the event also changed, which in 1984 was for the first time on the first weekend in July and has since been a fixed item in the Wilhelmshaven event calendar. The "weekend at the Jade" drew more and more visitors to Wilhelmshaven in the years that followed. In 1999 the previous visitor record was celebrated with 385,000 visitors. The focus of the event shifted more and more to maritime topics. Fixed sizes in the event program are always the naval units stationed in Wilhelmshaven and the naval arsenal .

In 2019 there was no weekend at the Jade for once. Instead, the " Lower Saxony Day " took place in Wilhelmshaven as the highlight of the city's 150th anniversary.

Topics on the "Weekend at the Jade"

The “Weekend at the Jade” usually has a motto that thematically summarizes the various individual events.

  • 1975 1. WadJ = "10 years Wilhelmshaven and Vichy"
  • 1976 2nd WadJ = "200 years of the USA"
  • 1977 3rd WadJ = "Wilhelmshaven greets Poland"
  • 1978 4th WadJ = "Austria as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1979 5th WadJ = "Great Britain as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1980 6th WadJ = "Hungary as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1981 7th WadJ = "Finland as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1982 8th WadJ = "The Netherlands visits Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1983 9th WadJ = "600 years Sibetsburg"
  • 1984 10. WadJ = "Joy, happiness and entertainment - right by the sea"
  • 1985 11. WadJ = "20 years Wilhelmshaven - Vichy"
  • 1986 12. WadJ = "10 years town partnership with Norfolk / Virginia / USA"
  • 1987 13. WadJ = "Norway as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1988 14. WadJ = “Olé! Spain visits Wilhelmshaven "
  • 1989 15th WadJ = "10 years Wilhelmshaven - Dunfermline"
  • 1990 16. WadJ = "25 years of partnership Wilhelmshaven - Vichy"
  • 1991 17th WadJ = "Course Europe"
  • 1992 18th WadJ = "North Rhine-Westphalia - Land of Diversity as guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1993 19th WadJ = "partner country Denmark - Esbjerg as guest"
  • 1994 20th WadJ = "125 Years of Wilhelmshaven - Under the Sign of International Partnership"
  • 1995 21. WadJ = "Ireland as a guest in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 1996 22. WadJ = "Water, Land, Air"
  • 1997 23. WadJ = "From military technology to balloonist romance"
  • 1998 24. WadJ = no special motto
  • 1999 25th WadJ = no special motto
  • 2000 26th WadJ = "EXPO am Meer - Wilhelmshaven's contribution to EXPO 2000 Hanover"
  • 2001 27. WadJ = "PURE pleasure and a major maritime event"
  • 2002 28th WadJ = "Gauklerfestival, Misswahl and Jürgen W. Möllemann"
  • 2003 29. WadJ = "witchcraft in the pumping station"
  • 2004 30. WadJ = "Scotland as a guest!"
  • 2005 31. WadJ = "France as a guest!"
  • 2006 32nd WadJ = "50 Years of the German Navy in Wilhelmshaven"
  • 2007 33rd WadJ = "100 Years of the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge - Views of an Industrial Monument"
  • 2008 34th WadJ = "Future Course"
  • 2009 35th WadJ = "100 Years of the Arngast Lighthouse" and the sub-topic "Historic Port Railway"
  • 2010 36th WadJ = "Wilhelmshaven-Helgoland: A good connection for over 100 years"
  • 2011 37th WadJ = "Lightships and Sea Marks"
  • 2012 38th WadJ = "Maritime Diversity - Diverse Maritime"
  • 2013 39th WadJ = "Utility ships and special vehicles - 85 years Senckenberg"
  • 2014 40th WadJ = "Wilhelmshaven under steam"
  • 2015 41st WadJ = "50 years of town twinning - Vichy and Wilhelmshaven"
  • 2016 42. WadJ = "Music"
  • 2018 44th WadJ = "Ahoy Wilhelmshaven"


View over the Great Harbor, the South Beach and the Jade Bay from the WadJ Ferris Wheel (2012)

Traditional program items for the weekend at the Jade are

  • Traditional ships: various national and international tall ships, steam and museum ships introduce themselves, e.g. B. the four- masted barque Sedov , the full- rigged ship Khersones , the three-masted schooner Swaensborgh and the three- masted yacht Atlantis ; Until the transfer to Stralsund also the former Towarischtsch (today renamed Gorch Fock again)
  • Navy : Open day in the naval arsenal with many national and international naval units (open ship)
    • Police Puppeteers Festival
    • Dragon boat races at the Jade Dragon Cup
  • Medieval village at the cultural center Pumpwerk
  • Flea and flea markets
  • Festival fair with numerous music stages and a general overview of the city and the Jade Bay from the Ferris wheel
  • Classic car meeting at Wiesbadenbrücke
  • Various exhibitions
  • Big final fireworks (Sunday evening from 11 p.m.)

In 2011 a shuttle service (the "Sande-Express") was set up for the first time from Sande station (Friesland) with the rail bus of the former " Hümmlinger Kreisbahn " on the southern route of the former Wilhelmshaven suburban railway to the Pumpwerk cultural center.


The festival is funded by the Wilhelmshavener Touristik & Freizeit GmbH (WTF) , which has been responsible for Wilhelmshaven's tourism marketing since 1969. To support the financing, the WTF has been selling pins to the festival visitors since 2003. With the purchase of the pin, various discounts and free use of the various means of transport such as B. connected by bus or ferry. The proceeds from the jade pins with the annually changing motifs are used to refinance many of the program items. The big final fireworks on Sunday is traditionally sponsored by the Sparkasse Wilhelmshaven .

Individual evidence

  1. History WadJ 1975 to today , accessed on July 17, 2013
  2. The Jade Pin: Really contagious , accessed on July 6, 2012
  3. WadJ: Planning for 2013 begins , accessed on July 6, 2012

Web links

Commons : Weekend at the Jade  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files