As the summer draws to an end, shooting galleries, carousels, market stalls and the smell of sweet delicacies attract the residents of Innerrhoden into the villages.
At the beginning of August the «Chölbene» (annual fair) in Oberegg starts and slightly later in the year a Village Commission organises the «Stenegge Chölbi» (Steinegg annual fair). Since 1972, on the second Sunday in September an ancient «Riitschuel» (carousel), a nostalgic carnival ship ride, a historic organ and a «ring-the-bell» strength machine have been put up by a local association on the company premises of Appenzeller Alpenbitter in Appenzell. A rock tossing competition is traditionally held at the «Schwender Chölbi» (Schwende annual fair). At the beginning and in the middle of September Gonten and Haslen also have smaller fairs.
The largest attraction is the «Hofer Chölbi» in Appenzell. This annual fair traditionally takes place on the weekend after the feast day of the patron saint of the region, St. Maurice (22nd of September). With spectacular fairground rides, loud music, ﬂashing lights, candy ﬂoss, «Magenbrot» (spiced bread), raclette and sausages there’s something for all ages. And on the following Monday, there is a large product market as well as a small cattle market.
Appenzell, up until 1597 the capital of the undivided canton of Appenzell, has had the right to hold markets since 1353.
Market days here are ﬁxed for particular days: On the ﬁrst Wednesday in May the streets are ﬁlled with the stalls of the May Market. On «Chölbimeentig» (the Monday of the annual fair) people ﬂock to the product market in the centre of the town and on the Landsgemeindeplatz (main square). The «Chlöösler» on the ﬁrst Wednesday in December oﬀers the opportunity for you to do your Christmas shopping. Buying presents is also known as «chläusele» in the Innerrhoden dialect, which roughly translates to «Santa Clausing». For some years a local association has organised a Christmas market on the second Sunday of December on the Postplatz. The magical atmosphere of Advent attracts hordes of visitors with illuminated stars, wreathes of incense and shops that are open on Sunday.
The traditional Wednesday market, formerly known as «Farmers’ Sunday», has lost a lot of its importance. It is now not such a common sight to see farmers and cattle dealers sitting playing cards in inns or standing around in the streets discussing current issues, doing errands and making deals.