Prince Marco I and Bonna Nadine I are not letting the city soldiers march this year. But they have thought of something else instead.
Bonn’s mayor got off lightly this year. Breaking with tradition, the Bonn Carnival Festival Committee did not march up to the Old Town Hall this year with the city soldiers and other carnival revellers. There was no storming of the building, not even a battle of words. Its a shame, but this year coronavirus has the advantage over carnival virus. However, the carnival Jecks in Bonn did not want Sunday to pass by without any action at all. And so the Festival Committee organised a storming of the town hall through the back door - on Facebook.
During the afternoon, the first comments trickled in from the carnival revellers, who wanted to at least verbally haul Prince Marco and Bonna Nadine into the town hall. None of this turned out to be very aggressive, because on Friday the two had already asked by video for "love messages" to the mayor Katja Dörner. After all, it was Valentine's Day on Sunday. “Next year we’ll be back and we’ll fire our mayor out of the town hall!” came from a gunner from the Bonn city soldiers as the fiercest declaration of war. In contrast, a law student begged: “Dear Mrs. Dörner, let us in, on the day of love you can't leave anyone out in the cold."
There was a lot of talk about love: for Bonn, "because it has everything of a big city like Cologne - only more cosy: flair, love, Rhine romance, Rhenish cheerfulness"; and for the Bonn prince and princess, "who are there for me in difficult times". There were some complaints about the civil service - who "only sleep all day” and others implored solidarity amongst the carnivalists and stated that "Fastelovend (carnival) gives so much to so many".
How could the mayor resist? It wouldn't have taken the demands for surrender from the president of the festival committee Marlies Stockhorst and the city soldiers via video message to soften Dörner's heart. "A clever attempt to gain entrance here," the mayor said in a video from her office in the town hall. She capitulated to the power of the Jeck’s words and entrusted the town hall and the city to the dignitaries until Ash Wednesday.
A “dress rehearsal for next year"
Marco Wiese and Nadine Klein followed the flood of comments online and were pleased to receive Dörner's offer, but they didn't have any time to accept it: they had to attend an online interview for a company party, then on to the Telekom Dome for another event, then early this morning on Rose Monday they had more interviews with radio and television and then two appearances at the carnival sessions at the drive-in cinema site in Dottendorf. And they have also been busy for the last ten days, "eight hours every day", said Wiese. Even if they only did two or three dates in that time and not the usual ten or more: "It's not like we aren’t getting anything from carnival at all.”
The carnival sessions at the drive-in cinema, their first real stage appearance, at least gave them the opportunity to get "a bit of a feel" for what they hope awaits them in the coming session. Klein sees this carnival season as a "dress rehearsal for next year". Her prince is confident that it will be all the more exciting then. "I think the pandemic will continue to make an impact," Wiese said. “But people are in the mood and they want to be let loose." There will certainly be some who will turn their backs on carnival, she said, but the majority of the Jecks are looking forward to a return to normality.
That will be the real pleasure of carnival for both of them, finally with real and not just "in-between" regalia, and with lively receptions, sessions and parades. But the pair have already made some wonderful memories, even in this session: Online meetings with kindergartens and schools, virtual carnival parades, visits to homes for the elderly. Wiese knows, "It really is a privilege today to be involved and have something to do.”