This April: the Vienna City Marathon, eating outdoors, the presidential election and May Day
The largest sports event in the country, the 33rd Vienna City Marathon will lead 42,000 runners over the traditional 42.195 kilometers past the city’s iconic sights.
Both amateurs and seasoned professionals like Levy Omari will participate in the race, starting between the UN skyscrapers. Accompanied by the Blue Danube Waltz as they cross the Reichsbrücke, runners will continue past the Riesenrad, through the Prater and onto the Ring, staying alongside the Wien river until they reach Schönbrunn palace before finally doubling back down Mariahilfer Straße and ending at the Rathaus.
One million spectators are expected to line the route, encouraging runners and creating a fun atmosphere for the rest of the city.
When: Apr. 10 More: vienna-marathon.com
A Place in the Sun
Spring is here, and around Vienna, sidewalks are getting crowded as restaurants and cafés set up Schanigärten, outdoor seating. Technically allowed since March 1, most establishments have so far put off the task until temperatures rise. Highly popular with restaurateurs and the chamber of commerce as an easy way to gain more revenue by increasing space, there has been talk of implementing this traditional Viennese institution year-round. However, attempts have so far met the resistance of the 1st district, which with 437 host the majority of the roughly 1,800 licensed gardens. 1st district chairman Markus Figl fears the Schanigärten could take over the sidewalks. “Public space needs to be handled responsibly”, he told Der Standard on March 1.
May 1, the traditional Labor Day in many countries, is a national holiday in Austria, marked by various festivities of the political left. Used by the Social Democrats as a traditional show of force since 1890, local chapters and unions will go on parade, converging on the Ringstraße and ending with a rally on Rathausplatz, conveniently situated between city hall (held by them since 1945) and SPÖ party headquarters. The festivities then move to the Prater, where the Social Democrats traditionally sponsor a large free festival and discounts at most amusements. According to the SPÖ, in recent years over 100,000 have participated in the rally and festivities.
When: May 1 Where: Rathausplatz & Prater
? for President
With the incumbent Heinz Fischer nearing the end of his term, Austria votes for its ninth head of state since WWII. Largely a ceremonial position, competition is nonetheless fierce this time around: With the three major parties – the Social Democrats, the conserva- tive People’s Party and thefar-right Freedom Party currently neck and neck in approval ratings, the one major presidential prerogative, the power to appoint and dissolve the national assembly, may prove invaluable in the next general election. With a crowded field of six hopefuls, it is unlikely that anyone will nab the over 50% majority constitutionally required to win outright – a second run-off between the two most successful candidates will then take place on May 22.
When: Apr 24, possibly May 22