Germans enjoyed the quiet life on one of the country's busiest highways, if only for a day, as the A40 autobahn closed to anything with an engine and it opened up for walkers and visitors.
According to the BBC, residents between Duisburg and Dortmund have closed 40 miles of the famous Autobahn for one massive street festival. The highway, which crosses North Rhine-Westphalia state, is normally one of Europe's busiest. Where normally thousands of cars and trucks rush by everyday, the highway was transformed into a huge area for a summer party.
By early afternoon, Ruhr.2010 spokesman Marc Oliver Haenig estimated 2 million people were meandering down the autobahn.
Organizers of the event handed out 20,000 tables and 40,000 benches in order to help create the longest table in the world as part of the celebration, assembled by 140 forklifts.
Drivers listening to the traffic reports in the Ruhr area have already been warned: "Attention on the A40. There is a 60-kilometer (37-mile) closure between Duisburg and Dortmund due to the longest table in the world."
The idea was that this long table is a meeting of "cultures, generations and nations." Fritz Pleitgen, the director of RUHR.2010 said he sees the event as a way for "citizens to not only see the cultural capital, but also to participate with it."
The whole event was held to celebrate the Ruhr region as part of the area's nomination as the Cultural Capital of Europe, 2010. Residents came out in droves to participate in everything from singing and dancing to street shows to mark the occasion.
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