Posted: Monday, February 4th 2013 at 9:30am
Tubing the Chattahoochee in February? Of Course!
HELEN - A group of locals from the Helen area braved the cold and snow Saturday to show their support for Fasching, which is Germany's version of Mardi Gras. They tubed down the Chattahoochee River through the center of town.
The procession will begin at the Helendorf Inn at 2:00.
Alpine Helen was created as an imitation of a Bavarian village, and in that spirit, the city observes several German traditions. Most people in this area are aware of Oktoberfest, celebrated in Helen in September and October each year, but many may not be as aware of the Fasching parties that pop up around the city in the weeks prior to Ash Wednesday. Just as Mardi Gras in New Orleans has Carnival Krewes that participate in the parades, some cities in Germany have a group referred to as the Faschingsverein. The job of the Faschingsverein is to attend the various parties (festivals) given around town and support the local merchants.
About the Faschingsverein Helen
In 2009, a small group of people in Helen got together and formed their own Mardi Gras group - the Faschingsverein Helen. Since its inception, the group has made a concerted effort to attend Fasching events sponsored by local merchants.
Because the firemen in Fussen, Germany (Helen's Friendship City) jump off of the bridge into the Lech River on the Saturday prior to Fat Tuesday, the Faschingsverein Helen thought it would be appropriate to tube down the Chattachoochee River as it passes through the center of town. In the first year, 2011, 3 of the members braved the elements. Last year, there were 11 in the tubing procession.
This year, according to organizers, there were 12 tubers and the water temperature was 40-41; the air temperature, 32-33 The youngest tuber was 13 and the oldest was 72. The event was complete with a band marching through town accompanying the tubers.
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