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Five weeks after storm, Düsseldorf gets its Rose Monday parade

Thousands of revelers have taken part in a delayed Rose Monday parade in the western German city of Düsseldorf. The annual carnival event was called off last month due to stormy weather.

Partygoers clad in bright costumes filled Düsseldorf's downtown on Sunday as the city's Rose Monday parade kicked off beneath a clear, sunny sky. Organizers said they expected around half a million people to attend, but the German Press Agency said numbers appeared to be significantly lower.

"It's different than usual," one police spokesman said.

Around 10,000 people were set to take part in the procession itself, while more than 1,000 police officers were deployed along the 5-kilometer (3-mile) route.

Nachgeholter Rosenmontagszug Düsseldorf

Even Republican frontrunner Donald Trump had a place in the parade

The traditional Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, parades are widely seen as the pinnacle of the Rhineland's carnival season, with colorful and satirical floats alternating with brass bands and dance troupes. Düsseldorf's event, originally scheduled for February 8, was canceled at the last minute amid severe weather warnings.

Carnival floats often poke fun at politicians and draw attention to current issues, and Sunday's parade was no exception. The rise of US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Europe's refugee crisis, all featured in this year's event.

The approach of low-pressure system Ruzica in early February prompted Düsseldorf, as well as the cities of Mainz, Duisberg, Münster and Essen, to cancel their Rose Monday parades.

The procession went ahead in Cologne, home to the country's largest carnival celebration, although it too was downscaled.

Horses and horse-drawn carriages weren't allowed to take part. Police also prohibited big flags, placards and figurines, and asked participants to dismantle heavy installations on carriages and buildings.

nm/jlw (dpa, epd)

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