Storm rains off Rhineland carnival parades

Storm rains off Rhineland carnival parades
A rainy day for Düsseldorf carnival in 2012. File photo: DPA
Many cities in the Rhineland have been forced to cancel their traditional Rosenmontag parades – the highlight of carnival season – as the weather turns increasingly hostile.

Düsseldorf became the biggest city to cancel its parade early on Monday morning, following in the footsteps of Mainz and Münster.

But Cologne plans to press on with the event, which usually sees dozens of decorated floats – often with comic or political themes – wend their way through the city among cheering crowds.

In deference to the rain, there was a bit more transparent plastic on display than usual as the city geared up for the parade.

Mainz and Münster carnival organizers said that the high winds of up to force 8 or 9 – gusting up to 90km/h – predicted for Monday would make the event too dangerous.

Cologne's will have some extra limitations, such as bans on flags and signs on the carnival floats.

And while the cathedral city's parade usually includes 500 horses, the equine part of the event has also been cancelled this time around.

But by mid-morning, the skies were looking clear in Cologne – with many unimpressed with the other cities' moves to cancel.

Police in Mainz said that they would continue to be at heightened readiness in the city, as large numbers of people were expected to come and celebrate carnival despite the cancellation.

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