Severe wind warning forces end to Eindhoven Carnaval parade; Alerts also issued for counterfeiters, con artists

The Carnaval parade in Oldenzaal on February 7, 2016
The Carnaval parade in Oldenzaal on February 7, 2016hansennDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Stormy weather prompted officials in Eindhoven to cancel their Carnaval parade this year out of concern for audience safety. The Lampegat Procession, named after Eindhoven's moniker during the festival, will not be rescheduled, organizers said in a statement posted online.

Windy weather is expected to strike the country off-and-on as storms Ellen and Francis make their way across western Europe. Dutch meteorological agency KNMI already issued a Code Yellow weather warning for gusty weather where the wind speed could top 90 kilometers per hour. The alert covers Noord-Holland, Friesland and Groningen through much of Saturday morning and afternoon. There is an 80 to 90-percent chance of precipitation across much of the Netherlands for at least the next week, beginning on Saturday, the KNMI said.

The primary concern is that the wind is predicted to gust in the Eindhoven area upwards of 75 km/h, the chair of the Eindhoven Carnaval foundation (FEC) said. There was not a moment of doubt over the decision, he told the Eindhovens Dagblad.

"This year we built a float for the first time with the logos of all Eindhoven carnival associations on it to show that you are celebrating carnival together. And now the procession will not take place," lamented Katje van der Heijden, who was to be the parade's 13th Prince Bock den Urste.

The vehicle took weeks to construct, and will still be shown off on Monday at Wilhelminaplein. No other Eindhoven, or Lampegat, events were likely to be cancelled, the FEC said.

No other municipalities cancelled their events, though Valkenswaard suggested it was a possibility. Others expected a decision to be made Saturday morning.

Counterfeit cash warnings

Authorities in the Netherlands issued several warnings this week tied to the upcoming three-day Carnaval celebrations, which start Sunday. Officials also discussed concerns about counterfeit money, and police use of bodycams when encountering highly intoxicated young people.

With a great deal of cash changing hands at cafes, bars, restaurants, and stands, authorities warned business owners about criminals attempting to use counterfeit cash. The thieves take advantage of the crowds and overwhelmed bar staff to pay their tabs with fake 50 euro notes, and pocketing the real bills that are returned as change.

Very realistic fake bank notes can easily be purchased online at webshop platforms like AliExpress, reported broadcast news outlet Hart van Nederland.

Police using bodycams to tattle on obnoxious young people to their parents

Youths were cautioned against binge drinking, since they could be caught on video by police body cameras. Officers at the festival in Oldenzaal, Overijssel plan to share the recordings with parents as a means of confronting young people behaving outrageously.

"Most parents say in advance, 'My son or daughter would not do such a thing.' That is why these images are so important; then there is no way to evade them," the Noord-Oost Twente police chief, Emil Baveld, told Tubantia.

Roughly 100 thousand people are expected to attend the events in Oldenzaal this weekend.

Dressing up as cops: Not the best idea

In previous years, authorities also told revelers not to dress up as police officers. The concern being the confusion it causes during an emergency, or in situations of escalating violence when aggressive people can turn against the person costumed as a cop.

Dressing up like an officer might not be an offense, but impersonating a police officer is. That involves a suspect behaving like an authority, also a method sometimes used to con a Carnaval partygoer into paying a false fine.

The annual festival is held primarily in the southern provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. Organized events are also scheduled in various places around the country