Dating back to 1886, it is the most rooted event in the social life of Merano.
The Saltner protected until the '60s the ripe grapes from thieves. Mostly living in a simple dwelling in the vineyard, the Saltner wore chains of animal teeth and cloaks of consecrated coins, crosses and fox tails. Colorful feathers on his hat should frighten humans as well as animals.
The float "Marlinger Wagen" with the apple crown is the oldest of all the floats at the Grape Festival, it was built in 1949 for the first time. Its dimensions are remarkable: it is more than five meters long, 2.20 meters wide and weighs 2.3 tons (of which more than 500 kilos are accounted for by apples).
With its 300 kilogram grape the float "Kundschafter" from Lagundo is also one of the most important floats of the move. The car weighs about half a ton, it is 4.50 meters high and 1.60 meters wide. The giant grape itself is one and a half meters high. The float was first decorated in 1951 in this form.
None. The Grand Parade of the Merano Grape Festival is the only one with horse-drawn floats in the entire Alpine region.
Josef Gögele from Merano, better known as "Kiendl" among Haflinger breeders and grape festival insiders, was first involved in the 1956 parade. In 2015 he celebrated his sixtieth participation in the event. Since the beginning of the 70s Gögele - himself an extremely successful horse breeder - chooses the Haflinger horses every year for the parade. "The horses trust me and I trust them": thus the breeder explains his special relationship with the steeds. In addition, he is also responsible for verifying the functionality of the float: he carries out tests at the municipal construction yard.