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The revelers are decked out in all kinds of colorful costumes for Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

The revelers are decked out in all kinds of colorful costumes for Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

The revelers are decked out in all kinds of colorful costumes for Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

The revelers are decked out in all kinds of colorful costumes for Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A group of revelers celebrates Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. As one can see, not only women were ceslebrating.

A group of revelers celebrates Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. As one can see, not only women were ceslebrating. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Revelers dance during the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.  Weiberfastnacht opens the final long weekend of the carnival season in Germany.

Revelers dance during the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Weiberfastnacht opens the final long weekend of the carnival season in Germany. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A person celebrating Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, wears a model of the city's famous cathedral on her head. Part of the real thing can be seen in the background in the upper right corner.

A person celebrating Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, wears a model of the city's famous cathedral on her head. Part of the real thing can be seen in the background in the upper right corner. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Revelers dance during the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Revelers dance during the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A costumed reveler celebrates Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

A costumed reveler celebrates Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Prost! Revelers celebrate Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The scarves are in the white, red, blue and yellow colors of the Mainz carnival.

Prost! Revelers celebrate Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The scarves are in the white, red, blue and yellow colors of the Mainz carnival. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Revelers wear all kind of colorful costumes for the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Revelers wear all kind of colorful costumes for the Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, celebrations in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

A singer with cheerleaders entertain the crowd during Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Weiberfastnacht opens the final days of the carnival season in Germany.

A singer with cheerleaders entertain the crowd during Weiberfastnacht, or women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Weiberfastnacht opens the final days of the carnival season in Germany. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

MAINZ, Germany — Sunny skies but near-freezing temperatures greeted the costumed revelers here Thursday morning for the Weiberfastnacht — or women’s carnival — celebrations.

A couple of thousand people braved the cold to enjoy the fun, which started at 11:11 a.m. at the foot of the Fastnacht fountain on Schillerplatz, a downtown square. Live bands and DJs got the celebrants singing and dancing, keeping them warm.

There were groups of clowns, frogs, ladybugs enjoying the fun, and just about any other crazy, colorful costumes could be seen among the merrymakers.

Weiberfastnacht is a day when the women are in charge of the festivities and can cut off men’s ties without fear of retribution. But men were also out in abundance, albeit without neckwear.

As in the past couple of years, there was heightened security, with the police out in force, a ban on bottles and participants forced to pass through security checkpoints to enter the square.

The day traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, which culminates in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf that attract more than 1 million spectators. Other popular parades are in Mainz-Kastel on Saturday, in Bitburg, Spangdahlem, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt on Sunday and in Stuttgart on Tuesday.

abrams.mike@stripes.com Twitter: @stripes_photog


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