Ramstein hosts Fasching parade Tuesday

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Photo by Airman 1st Class Jordan CastelanIndividuals in creative costumes and walking groups walk in the Fasching parade in Ramstein-Miesenbach.
Photo by Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
Individuals in creative costumes and walking groups walk in the Fasching parade in Ramstein-Miesenbach.

Fasching is now reaching its peak. Throughout the weekend, and on Rose Monday and Fat Tuesday, Fasching dances, fun sessions, masquerade balls and children’s parties will be held.

One main event in the KMC is the Fasching parade in Ramstein-Miesenbach Tuesday. The Bruchkatze Carnival Association sponsors the annual parade, which is the biggest in the Westpfalz area with more than 1,400 participants.

“Our parade, which will take place for the 63rd time, will feature 13 carnival associations, five music groups, 70 walking groups and 27 floats,” said Hartmut Schäffner, chief of the parade committee. “We try to make this parade the highlight of the local Fasching campaign.”

Ramstein-Miesenbach’s sister city Maxéville, France, will send a float with about 120 participants.

Traditionally, various American walking groups and the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Marching Band will join the event.

“It shows the good and friendly relationship between Germans and Americans in our city,” Schäffner said.

Eva Maldonado from the 86th Airlift Wing Host Nation Office said they have received float registrations from the Ramstein Girl Scouts, the Roller Girls of the Apocalypse, as well as the 86th Civil Engineer Group.

“Traditionally, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Band will join and perform in the streets,” Maldonado said.

More than 48,000 promotion items, including candy, will be tossed to 30,000 to 50,000 spectators. The almost two-hour parade will begin and end on August-Süssdorf-Strasse. Food and beverage booths will be placed along the 2.4 kilometer route.

Ramstein’s official Fasching shout is “Ralau.”

Residents along the route are asked to decorate their houses to support the celebration.

“Also, parents should watch their kids, and for safety reasons, spectators shouldn’t get too close to the floats,” Schäffner said.

Spectators must buy a button for €2 from vendors on the street. This button helps to finance the yearly event and it grants free admission to the Fasching party, which will take place after the parade at the Haus des Bürgers.

The center of Ramstein-Miesenbach and Bahnhofstrasse will be closed to motorized vehicles from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

A Fasching carnival with a merry-go-round and activity booths will be set up in front of the Haus des Bürgers from Sunday through Tuesday.

Other parades in the Pfalz will be held at 1:11 p.m. Saturday and 2:11 p.m. Sunday in Linden, Dahn and Rodalben.
In the main Fasching cities of Mainz, Köln and Düsseldorf, parades take place on Rose Monday. Spectators from Germany and throughout Europe come to these cities to watch the annual spectacle with floats, bands, and dancing and marching groups. Participants in vehicles will throw out candy or hand out drinks to the crowds along the streets. It is traditional for revelers to sing, sway and dance during the five-hour parades, which all start at 11:11 a.m.

The official Fasching greeting in Köln is “Alaaf,” and in Mainz and Düsseldorf, it’s “Helau.”

Many Fasching events for children take place Fasching Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. Often, children don’t have school that day. Usually, people who work take off in the early afternoon. In most cases, employers allow them to do so, and stores, banks and official institutions close anyhow at 1 or 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Also, many towns offer outdoor Fasching events. In Kaiserslautern, celebrations will begin at 2:11 p.m. at a stage set up next to the Rathaus (city hall). The local Fasching association KVK will present its Fasching princess, dancing groups and club members holding funny speeches. The official shout is “Kalau.”

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