David Moore from IPA UK enjoys the ‘Kölner Karneval’

01 Mar 2018

Cologne Carnival is held each year in the week preceding Shrove Tuesday, and IPA Cologne has for many years organised a week of celebrations. For several years I have visited, and this year was no exception.

From the time I was picked up at the airport on Friday afternoon to the time I left Cologne five days later, I ccolognevisitfromukould not have been treated with more kindness and consideration.

On the first evening, I was taken to the ‘Brunosaal’ where the first of the main eventsorganised by the branch took place: a very large party with various items of
entertainment, music and dancing and of course Kölsch, the local beer. Chairman Dietmar Weiß announced the local dignitaries attending and to my surprise included me! It turned out a very enjoyable evening amongst friends during which I was presented with one or two gifts.

Sadly the events organised by the branch for Saturday had to be cancelled, but I still had an enjoyable day in Cologne city centre with my Granddaughter Catherine. Sunday was a trip out to the Longerich. For a number of years, the Cologne branch has organised a trip out to this suburb where a Carnival parade is held. Once more, I was greeted by many old friends as though it had only been days before and not years. Catherine was taken out to a party that evening by the daughter of a local member. Get on your bike Granddad!

So to ‘Rosenmontag’. The day of the main Cologne Carnival parade. It cannot be described, but simply has to be experienced! Sufficient to say that all streets in Cologne are closed to traffic and that the Parade takes four hours to pass a given spot. All the time, flowers, sweets and chocolates are being thrown into the crowds. It is estimated that the population increases by 2 million over the Carnival weekend. Fancy dress is the order of the day and enjoyment is the main consideration. IPA has a designated stretch of road and the branch caters for all, with coffee, cocoa, soup and of course Kölsch. I was greeted by many friends during the day. ‘Rosenmontag’ is an unbelievable experience.

Before our return to the airport, Dietmar took us to the Cologne Police Headquarters What a surprise! On arrival Dietmar presented me with the new pennant of the German Section and then said there was a special gift. This turned out to be a wooden token that had been sent on its travels from Section 64 in America. I was told it had to be given to a foreign guest and had travelled via New Zealand and South Africa and finally Cologne and was given to me in order to continue its journey. The token has its own Facebook where its journey is described: www.facebook.com/ipawoodennickel

Of course I intend to pass this nickel on to a foreign guest who is visiting my home country in the future.

David Moore, IPA UK member