Start of Carnival season What to know about the Carnival event on Nov. 11 in Cologne

Cologne · Anticipation is rising: this year's carnival season will soon begin. This year’s theme: "200 years of Cologne Carnival: Ov krüzz oder quer”. Carnival party-goers, called “Jecken” will be swaying and celebrating their way into the start of Carnival season. More information can be found here.

The Carnival season opener is on the 11th of November at 11:11 a.m., in Cologne it will be at Heumarkt.

The Carnival season opener is on the 11th of November at 11:11 a.m., in Cologne it will be at Heumarkt.

Foto: dpa/Rolf Vennenbernd

What is the theme of the upcoming carnival season?

The theme "200 Years of Cologne Carnival: Ov krüzz or quer" is intended to remind us of the power of Carnival, which is a constant for the people of Cologne even in times of crisis. After many carnival parades were completely canceled or turned into anti-war demonstrations at the beginning of this year due to the Corona crisis and the start of the war in Ukraine, this year is to be traditional again. Nevertheless, carnival will remain political: this year's motto is intended to make clear that carnival is open to everyone and brings people together.

What is special about the coming session?

This year, carnival-goers are especially happy that the 11th of November falls on a Friday. This means that the weekend can be used to relax - or to continue partying. What's more, Cologne Carnival is in for a real anniversary season in 2023. Three major Carnival organizations will be celebrating their 200th anniversaries. The highlight of the coming season will be on February 20, 2023, with the Rose Monday parade.

Where can people celebrate the opening of Carnival season?

Traditionally, numerous events take place in and around Cologne. The first celebrations begin at 9 a.m., until it's finally "Kölle Alaaf" at 11.11 a.m. Admission to Heumarkt begins as early as 6 a.m. The stage program takes place from 9 am to 9 pm. This year, too, the opening of the session at Heumarkt is subject to an admission charge. The tickets for that are already sold out. Those who are not on location, however, can follow the opening of the carnival season live on WDR from 10:30 am.

This year, the celebration of the Carnival society "Die Grosse von 1823" will also take place at the Tanzbrunnen. Admission begins at 8.30 a.m, and the program starts at 10 a.m. Höhner, Kasalla and Brings are included among the bands performing. Tickets are available starting at 25 euros. Children up to a height of 1.11 meters are admitted free of charge.

With "Jecke 11," the Lanxess Arena offers a carnival celebration for all ages. Cologne carnival greats such as Brings, Kasalla and Querbeat will perform in the center of the arena. Tickets for standing room around the stage are available from 29.50 euros.

Other celebrations for the opening of the Carnival season:

  • Jeckmarie on Nov. 11 in The Grid Bar (from 10 am, organized by the Prinzen-Garde).
  • Etepetete session start at Johann Schäfer Brauhaus (starting at 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 11 in the Maritim Hotel (from 11 a.m., organized by the Roten Funken)
  • Holy opening of the jubilee session in the Brauhaus Reissdorf am Griechenmarkt (from 11:11 a.m., organized by the Brauhaus Reissdorf am Griechenmarkt and the traditional dance group Heilige Knäächte un Mägde e. V.)
  • “11 Punkt 11” - the session opener of the Altstädter (from 2 p.m. in the Wartesaal)
  • Traditional session opening on the Eigelstein (from 5 p.m., organized by the Nippeser Bürgerwehr)

What security plans are in place?

The Cologne police are preparing for a large onslaught of revelers. Around 1,100 police officers will be deployed to ensure security throughout. There will be security checks and more bag checks this year. The public order office will also be on duty with 150 officers. In addition, there will be 520 staff from a private security company.

What is not allowed?

In Cologne's Old Town and the "Kwartier Latäng", anything made of glass will again be prohibited. In the city center, trucks are banned throughout Friday. Anyone who urinates in public will face a fine of up to 200 euros.

Which corona rules apply on 11.11.?

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has extended the Corona Protection Ordinance, which came into force in October, for a further four weeks. Masks are not mandatory indoors, but pubs, bars and restaurants can set their own rules. Party-goers traveling by train, tram or bus must wear a medical-grade mask on public transport.

How do revelers get to the party zone?

Access to the Zülpicher Viertel will be relocated to the university canteen. All revelers coming from Barbarossaplatz or Rudolfplatz will be redirected to the student quarter via Luxemburger Strasse or Lindenstrasse. Opposite the canteen, there will be an alternative area for those waiting as long as the Zülpicher Viertel is at capacity.

Which areas in the Cologne city area will be closed off?

This year, closures and access controls will be used to prevent too many revelers from occupying too small an area. The Heumarkt will be closed off over a large area. Residents and employees can apply for passes that allow them to cross and enter Heumarkt. To protect residents, some side streets around Rathenauplatz and Zülpicher Platz, including Engelbertstrasse, Görresstrasse and Zülpicher Wall, will also be completely closed off. Residents will have free access with their ID card.

(Original text: Jasmin Kaub / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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