BONN Altogether, it was a calm first day of carnival on Thursday, according to police. Thousands of Jecken enjoyed Weiberfastnacht under sunny skies. On tram line 66, however, two windows were smashed.
As of early evening, the police and fire department had reported no major incidents on Weiberfastnacht (Women’s carnival). The sunny and warm spring weather apparently had a positive influence on the thousands of Jecken who were making their way through Bonn's city center from the morning on, and those who were celebrating and swaying to the music in Beuel at the Weiberfastnacht procession and at town hall square.
According to police spokesman Frank Piontek, the police counted around 1000 young people partying along the banks of the Rhine. Later in the afternoon, the larger and smaller parties on the Rhine gradually dissolved. According to Piontek, around 500 police officers were on duty throughout the day.
In the run-up to the event, Bonn police had banned 23 persons known to them from previous incidences, from entering Beuel, Bonn city center, Bad Godesberg and Bornheim. Potential offenders, rioters and drunks were taken off the streets early. Up until evening, eight people had been taken into custody. Officers filed a total of 18 criminal charges for insults, bodily harm or drug offenses.
By the afternoon, the fire department had been called out nine times, two of which turned out to be false alarms. All in all, officials spoke of a relaxed carnival atmosphere from morning to afternoon in Beuel and Bonn.
Towards evening many Jecke gathered in front of and inside the pubs and restaurants. But even in those places, police did not report any incidents up to early evening - except for a few minor scuffles, which officers were able to resolve quickly. According to Piontek, the police also found some heavily drunken teens among the 150 youths who were still celebrating on the banks of the Rhine in the evening.
Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) reported full buses and trams throughout the day. In the morning, the SWB found major damage in one of the trams on line 66: two windows had been smashed, reported SWB spokesman Werner Schui. This led to minor delays on the route between Bonn and Siegburg at noon.
Rhine-Sieg police report
The Rhein-Sieg police also reported that the situation remained "predominantly peaceful" until early evening. By 6 p.m., emergency responders had received 62 carnival-related calls. In Siegburg and Hennef, police ordered 29 persons under the influence of alcohol to leave the premises because they were harassing others.
Three persons were taken into custody because they were rioting or under the influence of alcohol. In addition, nine criminal charges were filed and three cases involved bodily harm. According to the police, eight people were injured, including three officers who intervened in disputes and brawls.
Police seized several Softair pistols at an entrance checkpoint because owners did not have the necessary firearms permits and were not allowed to take them to a public event.
Around 110 motorists were stopped by police on Weiberfastnacht. Four of them were suspected of being under the influence of drugs, so a blood sample was ordered. "All in all, the number of incidences is at a lower level than in the previous year," read the police statement.
(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen, Alexander Hertel / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)