Thousands line up for Rosenmontag parade in Germany
A float passes by in the Rosenmontag parade Monday, March 3, 2014, at Mainz, Germany.
MAINZ, Germany — A signature sign of spring in southwestern Germany arrived Monday as thousands of people lined the streets of Mainz for the Rosenmontag parade, a key event of the annual German carnival celebration.
People of all ages clad in bright colors and elaborate costumes streamed off trains and out of Mainz’s main train station, arriving in time to join the throng of revelers pushing into the city center for a spot along the route. German police were out in force to supervise the chaos, watching impassively as partygoers drank from liquor bottles and sounded noisemakers.
Floats depicting National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other prominent figures took their place in the parade alongside marching bands and the famous Schwellköpp, characters with grotesque oversized heads that are an iconic symbol of the event.