IT'S ahle kicking off in Kassel, Germany's usually tranquil and picturesque "city of fairytales". The local council has got itself in a right tizz over a vegetarian street festival for, er, not serving meat.

Or more specifically, for not serving cured ahle wurst - the sausage that "belongs to Kessel". A heated debate resulted in the council passing a motion calling on the Feast of the Earth, taking place to mark Earth Day on 23 April, to ditch the meat-free theme and bring on the bratwurst.

Some cynical souls suspect the sausage outrage may have been brought on in part by an impending mayoral election, the BBC reported.

Candidate Dominique Kalb of the conservative CDU declared ahle wurst is "simply an essential part" of local street food.

Green candidate Eva Koch appealed for sausage-related calm but still conceded that not having the wurst on hand would be a "real kick in the guts".

But the impassioned appeals for a sausage fest (sorry) appear to fall on deaf ears.

UmweltHaus, the environmental group organising the event, said meat production is resource-intensive, in opposition to the sustainability theme of Earth Day, and besides they haven't got any more space for stalls. It therefore declared the festival would remain "fleshless".

One long-time participant in the festival is not having that. Kassel's Senior Citizens' Advisory Council, a long-time participant in the festival, advised Kassel's senior citizens to boycott the bratwurst-free bash.

The (off)Beat can only hope it's going to be ahle right on the night (again, sorry).