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Cologne Carnival merrymakers to party despite storm warning

Cologne's Carnival parade will take place on "Rosenmontag" despite weather experts forecasting heavy thunderstorms. The intense low-pressure system Ruzica, however, led other cities to call an early end to festivities.

Partygoers in

Cologne

were relieved after city authorities, including the Cologne Carnival Committee, the city's administrators, firefighters and police agreed to go ahead with the traditional Rose Monday or "Rosenmontag" processions.

Horses and horse-drawn vehicles would not be allowed on Monday's parade and groups which traditionally rode on horses would be marching on foot, officials said.

Police also prohibited big flags, placards and figurines and asked participants to dismantle heavy installations on carriages and buildings. A group of officials were inspecting the scenes on Sunday to prepare for Monday, Cologne daily "Kölner Stadtanzeiger" reported.

Karneval in Köln Flash-Galerie 010

The horses will stay in the stables this year

Celebrations canceled in several cities

Severe weather warnings did, however, spell the end of Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Duisburg, Münster and Hagen.

"The weather conditions are too touchy. It's too dangerous for us," President of Duisburg's Carnival Michael Jansen told reporters. Hagen's carnival head, Moritz Padberg, also confirmed his city was canceling its parade, adding that officials would consider holding the processions in spring.

According to the weather department, a low-pressure system called Ruzica is expected to bring with it gales measuring 8 on the Beaufort scale. In some places, winds blowing at 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph) could be expected. "Procession leaders may have to consider cancelling their hours-long parades," Christoph Hartmann, meteorologist with the German weather service (DWD) told reporters.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers with lightning were expected to strike on Monday, but temperatures would be a relatively warm 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees F). Another low-pressure system on Tuesday would cause icy temperatures on Ash Wednesday, weather officials reported.

Revelers in

Düsseldorf were still waiting

for officials to decide if the city would hold its traditional procession.

mg/sms (dpa, AFP)

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