“German City Renamed for Taylor Swift’s Concerts”

The city formerly known as Gelsenkirchen in Germany will soon witness a Swiftie invasion as American pop sensation Taylor Swift gears up for three Eras Tour concerts later this month. In celebration of her visit, the city has temporarily rebranded itself as “Swiftkirchen” to honor the singer and welcome the tens of thousands of fans anticipated for her performances on July 17, 18, and 19.

Aleshanee Westhoff, a devoted Swift fan, proposed the new name to the city’s mayor and initiated a petition which led to the unveiling of a yellow city sign featuring the new name, meaning “Swift’s Church,” on Tuesday. Mayor Karin Welge praised the teenager’s “great idea” in a letter accepting the proposal.

The sign, adorned with a pink portrait of Taylor Swift, now stands proudly in the city center. Additional signs are set to appear in high-traffic areas of Gelsenkirchen in the next few days, according to city spokesperson Markus Schwardtmann.

Gelsenkirchen, once a coal mining hub and currently considered one of Germany’s poorer cities, looks forward to the influx of Swift’s dedicated fans. Known for its soccer team and a massive stadium that occasionally hosts international stars, the city is pulling out all the stops for this high-profile event.

Adding to the festivities, the city will honor Taylor Swift with her own stone on the Gelsenkirchen Walk of Fame, where she’ll join notable locals including soccer coach Rudi Assauer and writer Ilse Kibgis. During the concerts, open-air parties with karaoke performances will also be hosted.

Already, a “Taylor Swift streetcar” is operational, and additional fan attractions are being planned, though details remain undisclosed for now. “There will be lots of big and small surprises so that the Swifties have plenty to discover in Gelsenkirchen,” Schwardtmann assured.

Tickets for Swift’s concerts in Gelsenkirchen, set to take place at the Veltins-Arena on Schalke stadium which accommodates up to 70,000 fans, are completely sold out. Following these performances, her Eras Tour will continue with shows in Hamburg and Munich.

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