On the 11 November, up to 70,000 carnival revellers will come together on Heumarkt square to celebrate the opening of the new carnival season.
Revellers from Cologne and carnival goers from the rest of the world, together with the three chief carnival figures (Prince, Peasant and Maiden who make up the Cologne Dreigestirn – the trio – and who are the highest representatives of the Cologne carnival) and traditional Cologne carnival bands will transform the square in the centre of the city into a carnivaltastic madhouse.
The programme begins on the stage at Heumarkt at 9.00. The biggest stars in the carnival music world will give it their all to get the colourfully-costumed revellers into the carnival mood and dancing spirit. The sounds of Cologne will lure carnival-goers into joining in with the singing and dancing for hours on-end – the official programme at Heumarkt doesn’t end until early evening. Among those involved this year are die Höhner, Bläck Fööss, Räuber, Paveier, Brings, Marie-Luise Nikuta, and many more.
However, the colourful activities in Cologne don’t stop there: the party will keep going in many of the pubs in the city centre, around Heumarkt and Alter Markt squares. Carnival merry-making continues on until the early hours of the morning!
On the 11 November, Cologne city centre is transformed for the carnival celebrations, and you are therefore recommended to leave your car at home when travelling to the opening season festivities at Heumarkt. It is far easier to take the bus or train – particularly if you’ve had the odd Koelsch beer or two!
Carnival begins - 11th November