The Pforzheim Oechsle Fest is a traditional festival for wine and local specialities in honour of Ferdinand Oechsle, born in Pforzheim, who invented the Oechsle hydrometer scale which measures the density and therefore the sugar content of grape must. The festival was initiated in 1986 by the local association for hotels and public houses. The festival has taken place every year since then, usually for 12 days after the last Wednesday in August. In 2001, after many years of co-operation with the association for hotels and public houses, the PKM company (today WSP GB Citymarketing) took over sole responsibility for the organisation of the event.
The aim is to project Pforzheim as an open, exciting city and to strengthen the identification citizens have with "their city". In addition, for the two-week period of the traditional wine festival the city centre bubbles with activity all through the day.
The Oechsle Fest, with approx. 30 pleasant wine taverns, a wide variety of local specialities from the local regions of Baden and Swabia and live music every day is one of the most communicative events of the Goldstadt Pforzheim. Depending on the weather, up to 200,000 visitors can be expected.
In 2007 the Marktplatz, the traditional location for the Oechsle Fest, was not available and so as an exception the event took place on the Waisenhausplatz. The new location was so popular with the public that efforts are on-going to use this site in future. However, for the time being in 2008 the Oechsle Fest returned to the Marktplatz.