Large Carnival parties canceled again over Covid concerns
Antoin Scholten of the Limburg-Noord security region canceled all large-scale Carnival events in the region. These are events around the opening of the Carnival season on 11 November (the 11th of the 11th), the security region announced on Thursday. For example, the provincial kick-off in Roermond, which was expected to attract 17,000 people, will not take place.
Scholten pointed out that Noord- and Midden-Limburg have the highest number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands. According to him, large-scale Carnival events are a significant risk. "However painful this measure is, we really see it as necessary to continue to guarantee healthcare. We are responding to the call from healthcare and the doubt there is also among the associations themselves. Everyone's health must remain the priority," Scholten said.
Smaller events scheduled for next week can continue as usual. The organization behind the 11th of the 11th party in Roermond spoke of a "massive downer." A spokesperson for the organization said he was concerned about the consequences of the decision for the coming Carnival. "This decision has a significant impact on the entire Vastelaovend," he said. Vastelaovend is the Limburg name for Carnival. "Associations are busy preparing for the Vastelaovend in 2022. They are now getting a big blow."
The decision was made on Thursday during a meeting of fifteen mayors from the region, including mayor Jos Hessels of Echt-Susteren. In addition to being mayor, Hessels is also chairman of the Association of Carnival Associations (BCL). "My resident heart cries, but my social conscience (also as a carnivalist) sees that it was inevitable because of the continuity of care and out of respect for the people who work there," said Hessels in a first reaction. "Let's hope that this early intervention will allow Carnival itself to continue in 2022."
The mayors of the Zuid-Limburg municipalities will discuss new measures on Friday. The Sinterklaas arrival parties are also on the agenda during the national Security Council meeting on Monday.
Reporting by ANP