Blue ice cream for fairies and lions

The thyssenkrupp Steel site in Duisburg played host to the employee party and the “ExtraSchicht” cultural event last weekend, attracting more than 13,000 guests both young and old.

Almost 2,000 people took part on the Saturday and more than 3,200 on the Sunday: Visitors spanning all generations flocked to the thyssenkrupp Steel employee party on the fourth weekend in June. The visitors were able to visit 30 booths, view a wide range of exhibits and gain insights into production.

Linda: “I enjoyed the site tour best and my kids the bobby car course.”

Activities for families and children

There was lots on offer for young and old: The chance to sit behind the steering wheel of the big fire engine belonging to the plant fire service was a dream come true for many young visitors. And their eyes also lit up when they practiced fire extinguishing drills with the hose. They rode on the slab train and became racing drivers on the bobby car course.

Classics such as a tin can alley and a steel quiz also proved very popular and awakened the competitive spirit in both young and old. At the face painting stand, young visitors were transformed into fairies, tigers and other fantasy creatures.

So it was possible to see a lion goalkeeper trying to stop the ball and noble princesses and witches in the heights of the climbing course.

The young climbers were helped by sporty colleagues who demonstrated exciting jumps and guided their young charges safely over the obstacles.

“I’m here to show my family and children where I work.”

Melanie: “I really enjoyed it. The mirror painting project was interesting.”

Learning and joining in

The business and functional units provided fun explanations of their work at their booths. For example, colleagues from Environmental/Climate Protection & Sustainability showed how easy it is to become a gardener. In the vegetable quiz “green” knowledge was rewarded with a bag of cress seeds for the windowsill at home. Colleagues also demonstrated their jobs at the company to the visitors in an entertaining way: The Quality department by presenting a strip watching game, Crude Steel by casting plaster figures and Logistics in a mirror painting game.

Those who found the games too active could relax in the lounge or have their photo taken as steelmakers dressed up in silver coats.

So what is actually made of steel?

From washbasins to tinplate, Thermomix to washing machine – steel can be found in all sorts of things. Curious visitors could also learn about all the places steel is used in cars in the steel exhibition.

Julian: “The plant tour was really interesting and the coke quencher fascinating.”

“We had a nice bus driver and the dimensions involved in the plant tour were huge. We liked the blast furnaces best.”

The Pretorius family

Visitors also experienced how steel is produced on the “route to steel”, an exhibition running alongside the queue for the plant tour. It showed all the raw materials needed to create the perfect mixture for steel, and helped pass the time as well. During the subsequent tour of the plant site, which covers an area of almost ten square kilometers, the family members of our employees were amazed by the place where mom and dad work.

Blue as far as the eye can see

As time went on blue thyssenkrupp balloons decorated the sky to drive away the dark clouds, while more and more visitors donned thyssenkrupp outfits they had bought at the brand truck. Even the ice creams and candy bags came in thyssenkrupp blue, although the cakes, sausages and falafel did sport their usual colors.

“The party was better than last year. The kids found the ice cream stand straight away.”


Brass bands, dancing and shows for the kids

On the stage nine solo artists and bands, almost all of them employee bands, ensured a great atmosphere.

For example three Steel employees are active members of the “Brassmachine Ruhrgebeat” big band established in Essen in 2016.

Children went on a world tour with Buddy Ollie and his songs on the popular kids’ stage. It didn’t matter whether it was drumming in Africa with Rudi Rhythmus or visiting China with Sina to fly kites – the children were the stars in Buddy’s show.

And the brass ensemble of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra gave a performance to honor their 20-plus year partnership with thyssenkrupp Steel.

A colleague from the BOF shop and his kickboxers impressed the audience with a display of sporting strength.

The five cheerleader and dance groups were a treat for the eyes, receiving enthusiastic applause for their performances. They included the Cheerleader Duisburg Dockers 1986 e.V. who comprise three age groups specializing in dance and participate in European and World Championships.

A big round of applause went to the young performers from our “Stahlsternchen” day care center whose dancing on the big stage entertained not just their proud parents.

Without the commitment of the many thyssenkrupp employees who took part in the musical acts and brought their families to the event, such a party would have been impossible.

Mark: “The music and atmosphere were super. The employees showed great commitment.”

The party was also a great experience for the 7,000 external visitors to the site between 6.00 p.m. on the Saturday and 2.00 a.m. the following day. thyssenkrupp Steel was one of the venues for the “ExtraSchicht” (“Extra Shift”) cultural event being held at a range of unusual locations throughout the Ruhr region. Every five minutes long into the night two buses carrying visitors set off on tours of the site and bands also played.

The entire board was delighted to see so many happy visitors.
Andreas J. Goss expressed his thanks to the organizers and the numerous volunteers from the workforce, and was pleased to announce:

“We will be holding our employee party again in the coming years. It’s great to see how positively it is received.”

Andreas J. Goss