Bonn Because of the Corona pandemic, the people of Kessenich cancel their carnival and St. Martin's parades as well as the autumn market. The Poppelsdorf street festival in September is also called off this year.
After the Endenich people now also the Kessenich crowd cancelled their Vierdelszug for the carnival season. Other popular events in the town won’t happen either, as the local committee communicated after its annual convention on Tuesday: the autumn market and the St Martin's parade.
"We are all sorry that we had to react this way. We are always bringing so much of our hearts into this“, say Wilfried Becker, managing director of the local committee. Especially since it would have been the 25th carnival parade, the decision is making everyone sad. In view of ever new regulations during the Corona pandemic it had become impossible to plan anything.
"We have to book music groups and set up barriers, for example. The city's regulations are not easy to meet," says Becker. After all, this is the third largest parade in the city with up to 45,000 spectators. "It's all about people's health. You can't maintain safety distances on the parade," he says. After a few beers, the mask would quickly fly off or the jesters would hug each other. In addition, problems with alcohol were reported at St. Nicholas' Church last year, where around 300 young people, some of them underage, met. "You can't get a grip on that," says the local committee spokesperson. There is already a requirement to set up an emergency tent and barriers.
"The heart bleeds with no end," says Evi Mielke of Stadtmarketing Kessenich about the cancelled fall market. There is also planning uncertainty because at least 8,000 visitors are expected. "We would have to do entrance controls everywhere so that only a certain number of people come to the market," says Mielke. That is not feasible. "The responsibility is too great for us if something happens.“
Since it was the 40th fall market "we had big plans," says Mielke. But she promises: "If it should become clear that larger gatherings are possible we will do something in the short term. As far as the St. Martin's parade is concerned, St. Martin at least wants to visit the children in the schools and daycare centers. But according to Becker, he is not allowed to distribute Weckmänner because the delicious baked treats would have to be packed individually.
Countless visitors usually gather in a small space for the Poppelsdorf street festival, which would fall under the Corona Protection Ordinance. Such events are prohibited until at least October 31. When this became known it was clear for the local federation to cancel the festival on September 19, as the vice chairman, Salah Cheko, announced. "We want to perhaps make up for it next year and then let two celebrations take place," he says.
(Original text: Richard Bongartz / Translation: Mareike Graepel)