"Durlach cheers, laughs and sings
When the jester the sceptre swings"
... the motto for 2018. Not exactly meaningful, sorry.
Due to lousy weather forecasts for the Black Forest region for Sunday, opposed to greyish but okay conditions at home, I decided to stay in Karlsruhe and give our local carnival another chance. The advantage was being able to go there by bicycle independent of crowded public transport, although cycling 2 x nine kilometres in rather strong cold wind from the side (i. e. no advantage in either direction) was not too funny.
I chose a spot in the western parts of Durlach close to the starting point of the parade, not in the centre. Thanks to that I did not see anything of the mess that happened further ahead. I only read on the news afterwards that the parade was stopped by a mob of drunk youths. Police were present and interfered, so that the parade was able to continue as planned.
I have already previously discussed the problems we have in the city with juvenile idiots whose idea of “fun” is ruining everyone else’s fun. They have no interest at all in carnival, neither know nor care a thing about it, all they want is cause trouble. This has already led to the discontinuation of some parades like Daxlanden and Grötzingen. Sooner or later this may set an end to street carnival altogether, I’m afraid. It’s a shame, and a worrysome development in society. What are these people thinking, or are they too brainless to think at all?
Anyway, back to Durlach. The parade was about half and half: Carnival clubs Rhineland style from the city on the one hand, Alemannic jester guilds from the suburbs and villages in the surroundings on the other. Many of these guilds make their appearance every year, both in Durlach and in the Tuesday parade in Karlsruhe; they also used to be among the regulars in Daxlanden. I suppose that most of them are too small to have their own parades in their villages, so they join and approfit from the big ones in the city. Some are traditional, others are really really wild and scary.
The carnival clubs had their wagons in the parade. Two of them were floats that had motives and transported a political message (one stupid, one brainy), although the quality was nowhere near what you’d get to see in Mainz or Cologne or Düsseldorf. One had this big jester hat. The others were simply normal trucks, decorated with a bit of painted canvas. Rather lame, dear carnival clubs.
I wholeheartedly agree with the wish to shoot Trump and Kim Jong Un to the moon...
The trucks carried the members of the Councils of Eleven (Elferrat) and other members with jester hats, and the girls of the dancing guards in their uniforms and wigs, throwing sweets into the crowd. That’s all they have to offer.
A few independent groups in between were more interesting. The the one and only really cool wagon was the huge pirate ship.
The parade also included two or three good Guggemusik bands.
In that side street where I was standing, there was a bit of a “neighbourhood feeling”. Several people among the spectators around me were greeted by participants who knew them – be it with sweets or with snubs and confetti attacks. To be fair, an event in a large city can never have the same familiarity as in a small town where everyone knows everyone.
Nevertheless… compare with the previous entry, Zell am Harmersbach. The atmosphere, the imagination, the design of the costumes, the details, the amount of enthusiasm in the participants’ faces.
The end of the parade sums it up. The last group in the procession is the garbage brigade that immediately sweeps away all traces of carnival, confetti, candy wrappers and leftover sweets, and it’s over, everything back to normal. While in places like Zell the street party begins…