Germans take cultural party on to motorway

Dancing in the fast lane, the people of the Ruhr party on the motorway

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Germans have been throwing an enormous party on one of the busiest stretches of the country's famous autobahn (motorway) network.

As many as three million people turned up for a giant banquet at picnic tables along 60km (40 miles) of motorway between Duisburg and Dortmund.

A radio traffic report quipped that the A40/B1 had been closed due to "the longest table in the world".

The Still-Life event was meant to celebrate the Ruhr region.

Party organisers said they had given away 20,000 tables to allow people to eat, drink, dance and perform plays into Sunday evening.

Map of the Ruhr

One resident living next to the A40 in Essen, Waltraud Weber, told German public broadcaster WDR she was pleased to have had an unusually quiet night before heading off to party with her family.

At midday German media reported that the A40 temporarily had to be closed to cyclists due to traffic jams and overcrowding.

The Ruhr, Germany's former industrial heartland, is Cultural Capital of Europe 2010.

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