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Taylor Swift’s Arrival Prompts German City to Temporarily Adopt Her Name
Schoolgirl Aleshanee Westhoff shows a “Swiftkirchen” town sign in honor of musician Taylor Swift in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. The Swifties are about to take over the German city of Gelsenkirchen, where American superstar Taylor Swift is set to give three concerts of her Eras Tour later this month. In honor of the singer, the city renamed itself “Swiftkirchen” — at least temporarily to welcome the tens of thousands of fans who are expected to come for the Eras Tour shows on July 17, 18 and 19, German news agency dpa reported. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — The Swifties are set to take over the German city once known as Gelsenkirchen. American superstar Taylor Swift is scheduled to perform three concerts from her Eras Tour later this month.

In celebration of Swift, the city has temporarily renamed itself “Swiftkirchen” to welcome the tens of thousands of fans who are expected for her shows on July 17, 18, and 19. This information was reported by the German news agency dpa.

A yellow city sign bearing the new name, which roughly translates to “Swift’s Church,” was unveiled on Tuesday. The idea came from Swift fan Aleshanee Westhoff, who suggested the name to the city’s mayor and started a petition recently. The mayor, Karin Welge, applauded the teenager’s “great idea” in a letter agreeing to the proposal.

Embellished with a pink portrait of the pop icon, the Swiftie sign is located in the city center. According to city spokesperson Markus Schwardtmann, several more signs will be erected at highly frequented locations in Gelsenkirchen in the coming days.

Known as one of the poorest cities in Germany, Gelsenkirchen is a former coal mining town that has struggled to recover from the decline of its primary industry. The Ruhr city is known for its soccer team and a massive stadium that occasionally hosts international entertainers like Swift.

More surprises are in store for Germany’s Swiftie town.

Taylor Swift will also receive her own stone on the Gelsenkirchen Walk of Fame, joining local notables like soccer coach Rudi Assauer and writer Ilse Kibgis. During her concerts, the city plans to host open-air parties with karaoke performances. A “Taylor Swift streetcar” is already operational, according to dpa.

Additional fan attractions are in the works but remain secret for now. “There will be lots of big and small surprises so that the Swifties have plenty to discover in Gelsenkirchen,” Schwardtmann shared.

Swift’s concerts in Gelsenkirchen are sold out and will be held at the Veltins-Arena on Schalke stadium, which can accommodate up to 70,000 Swifties. More Eras Tour shows are scheduled for Hamburg and Munich.

Source: AP