Love a parade? There will be no shortage of them over the coming weekend, when Fasching, or Carnival, fever reaches its peak.
On Sunday and Monday, Carnival parades will snake through the streets of dozens of German cities. Some parades involve so many floats and marchers that they last for hours.
Kids will love attempting to catch the candy and trinkets tossed to spectators from the floats, so be sure to bring a bag to hold all that free loot. Halloween costumes or other forms of outrageous attire would be fitting at any of the following locations:
• Aachen: Monday from 11:11 a.m., more than 150 groups and 5,000 individuals will march in this parade, which runs along a four-mile course from Adalbertsteinweg to Templergraben.
• Düsseldorf: The parade on Monday kicks off at 12:30 p.m., stretches to a length of about four miles and lasts up to five hours. More than 5,000 individuals participate in this extravaganza, which can attract anywhere from 800,000 to a million spectators.
• Frankfurt: The city’s Fastnachtszug begins at 1:11 p.m. Sunday and traverses a two-mile route that starts at the Untermainkai and runs through the center of town, passing the Hauptwache and the Römerberg, finally winding up at the Mainkai. Some 76 clubs and organizations have floats or marchers in the parade, which counts about 2,420 participants. The parade attracts some 450,000 spectators.
• Koblenz: The parade begins Monday at 12:11 p.m. from Rheinstrasse and runs along a three-mile course that winds up at Casinostrasse. Some 50 floats, 23 musical groups and 100 groups on foot amount to about 5,000 individuals taking part.
• Mainz: The parade takes place Monday from 11:11 a.m., involves around 9,700 participants, includes about 155 floats and groups and attracts half a million spectators. The route stretches along a four-mile course beginning at Josephsstrasse, winding through the city and past the cathedral, ending hours later on the Münsterplatz.
• Mannheim and Ludwigshafen: These two cities come together to organize a parade and take turns hosting it. Mannheim serves as the venue in odd-numbered years. Sunday’s parade begins at 2 p.m. and winds through the city center.
• Nuremberg: The city’s Carnival parade first took place in 1397, and claims to be the oldest in the world. The tradition continues Sunday from 1 p.m., when marchers set off from Bayreutherstrasse.
• Würzburg: What’s billed as southern Germany’s biggest Carnival parade takes place Sunday from 11:55 a.m. It begins on Semmelstrasse and ends at Kreuzung Sanderring. Some 154 groups and floats participate.