What happened last month?
Thank God it’s November! Why? Because it is the end of all the Oktoberfest imitations and the beginning of the 5th season: Karneval or Mardi Gras – as we have recently been calling it, so that the uninitiated may also know what we are talking about.
Well, it started – 2 days early by special stipulation of the BDKK – and was opened at the Hansa Haus by Armin Hellmann, the current President of the BDKK society. The hosts? Treue Husaren, Mississauga.
We did not have the traditional opening by the K.G. Eintracht, in Oakville this year. Attrition has also taken its toll there and the membership has shrunk to the point where it is just not feasible anymore to stage an event of this nature.
But the opening – by the THM - was a full success! Full house? You bet! Did many other societies send representation? They did indeed! Treue Husaren, Toronto; Narrhalla 58, Hamilton; K.G. Eintracht, Oakville; K.G. Hansa, Brampton; Ontario Prinzengarde, Milton; and of course our newcomers the K.G. Ascendia, Hamilton - with a noticeably younger crowd. It is gratifying to see that someone is trying to carry our traditions into the future. The group even has a "Kinder Garde" already and are hoping to get them ready for action in the near future. Great effort, guys! We all wish you well!
Of course, part of the success of this event was the fact that the Mississauga Express Band was in charge of the musical part of the evening and did its best to keep the mood elevated for all the guests.
The Hansa kitchen, with a traditionally high standard of quality, again provided delicious food. Well, they say an army travels on its stomach – the "army of carnivalists" (they give out medals, don’t they?) is no exception. No one complained about the food or the great variety of beverages available.
Although a very successful – and colourful – event, staged by the Narrenzunft Concordia, Kitchener, this was the first year that it was noticeable that many tables remained empty. It was also the first snowstorm this year and some of the visitors were telling stories about the trials and tribulations - on the traffic scene - that evening. But many came anyway, I guestimated about 150 (of which about 45 were the host society). After all this was an important event.
A new prince was to be crowned. I am not going to list all the participating societies again but I will mention Prince Timothy and Princess Karin from the "K.G. Downriver", Detroit, who had come all the way to Kitchener for this event.
Of course, I am jumping a little ahead of myself here. The first part of the event was the re-awakening of the "Hoppeditz" (John Norlock) who was carried into the hall in his coffin, where he spent the other four seasons.
Other entertainment was provided by the Senior "Funky" Andrea Norlock, and the Junior Funky Cortnee Howley.
The "crowning" of the new royals – and the "de-commissioning" of the old royals - was performed by Steve Haas for the BDKK (with a real sabre no less!). This is always the most festive part of the opening of carnival – or the 5th season.
Joe Lindlau and the "Golden Three" provided all the musical background for the festivities and the dances afterwards. A great event and lots of "Spass an der Freude".
Kappenabend in Hamilton
This is another way of opening carnival and was send to us by David Simon from Hamilton:
"Kappenabend". The evening followed a similar format of last year’s successful event. Karneval’s sing-alongs and "Schunkelmusik" were played over the robust sound system, which allowed "Hofsänger" and reigning "Prinz Karneval" Richard Saur from Kitchener to sing the songs sometimes with his own version of the words. The system made it so that all in the hall could hear every nuance. Those attending included the Royal couple with their "Hofpaar" plus a bus load of members from Kitchener, and groups from Mississauga, the Prinzengarde in Milton, and Ascendia, Hamilton. Some other groups had to send their regrets because of the snowy weather. BDKK president Armin Hellmann was there, and told us the funny story of the "kofferträger".
Many Carnival members were prepared this year with a fistful of very funny stories. The laughter didn’t stop. This event so reminded me of the two trips (so far) that I’ve made to Germany to participate in Carnival. It was a real social evening full of fun and song.
The food available included sausages with all the trimmings and open-faced sandwiches, including the Carnival favourite, Tartar. The food completely sold out, which made the new club operator Paul Frank happy.
A full range of funny "orden" (medals) was passed out, with each person in attendance getting one. All in all the Narrhalla has seemed to hit the right funny bone again, as the Carnivalists are already looking forward to next year.
Thanks, David! This practically completes carnival for this year, but there will be more next year. Watch this paper for the announcements and check out our website for additional pictures: www.echoworld.com
Alaaf and Helau, as always
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