The Mainzer Fastnachter didn't miss such an opportunity - and exceptionally, when it came to making the 36th Rhineland-Palatinate Day, which was to be experienced in the capital at the weekend, silly, even carnivalists from the northern parts of the state rushed to their aid.

The Ahrweiler marching band, for example, was allowed to march around the carnival fountain on Schillerplatz at the start of the three-day major event and, together with Prince Mathias I, called out the Alaaf, which sounded rather unusual to Mainz ears.

Only then was the "75 years of Rhineland-Palatinate" birthday party officially opened on Friday at 6:11 p.m.

Markus Schug

Correspondent Rhein-Main-Süd.

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Prime Minister Malu Dreyer, State Parliament President Hendrik Hering and Lord Mayor Michael Ebling (all SPD) spared their listeners lengthy welcome speeches.

They welcomed all who came and threw themselves into the fray.

"We haven't forgotten how to celebrate festivals in the heart of the city," said Ebling, referring to the corona restrictions that lasted more than two years.

The rain showers, which lasted at most an hour, were less responsible for the fact that the start of the long party weekend literally fell into the water.

In many places, on the other hand, the fear that something unforeseeable and bad could possibly happen – like almost a year ago in the Ahr Valley – prevailed.

After the corresponding storm warnings, the stage program on the Große Bleiche was temporarily interrupted and the audience was even asked to leave again at around 8 p.m.

The state parliament also opened its doors

Most of the information stands where cities and communities, associations and clubs, church institutions, initiatives and organizations from all over Rhineland-Palatinate could introduce themselves also remained unoccupied on the first evening.

So the tour recommended by the organizers from Ludwigsstraße via the Rhine promenade to the government district and back to the theater on Friday evening was not worthwhile.

Things looked very different the following day when tens of thousands of visitors thronged the city center to inspect either the old-timers brought from the Trier district from the local fire brigade museum or brand-new police and army vehicles.

On the market square at the cathedral, where the city of Mainz wanted to address future topics, details about the "Lu: world of experience" were revealed, among other things.

In addition, the first drafts for two very specifically planned research centers on farmland at the Europakreisel were on display.

After all, from the city's point of view, these fields should be transformed "better today than tomorrow" into an internationally recognized location for various biotech companies.

Most of the doors in the government buildings in the Bleichenviertel were also open at the weekend, including those that lead to the Prime Minister's office.

Above all, the extensively renovated state parliament in the Deutschhaus attracted many curious people as a "showcase of democracy", who, after a two-year Corona break in Mainz, were finally able to celebrate the citizens' festival on Constitution Day again.

Parade for the Fools

Whether it was actually the 300,000 visitors expected by the city and state could not be answered on Sunday.

According to the State Chancellery, around 150,000 people were counted in the city on Saturdays alone.

The state capital was correspondingly full, which had five stages, twelve action areas and a good 330 catering and information tents ready for its guests for the large state anniversary, which cost several hundred thousand euros.

There probably wouldn't have been a need for Sunday shopping, which would also have attracted a number of shoppers from Rhineland-Palatinate and the nearby Rhine-Main area.

The fact that there were too few food stalls on the festival mile and in some places too many and too massive security measures may have annoyed some.

For example, those who were not allowed to go to Schillerplatz with larger bags and backpacks.

Shortly before the festival, people were asked to bring rainproof things with them.

Not all observers liked the express route selected for the parade on Sunday via Rheinstrasse and Quintinsstrasse to Ludwigstrasse.

It may have been the most practical and safest solution of all imaginable variants.

On Fastnacht, however, attention is paid to the ambience in the carnival stronghold and the proximity to the spectators is sought.