At the recommendation of a friend and former Lucerne resident, I decided to visit the old city for their annual Fasnacht parade. The Thursday before Fat Tuesday, a cannon shot signals the beginning of the nearly 2 hour parade across old town. This was my first big Fasnacht parade and I was not quite prepared for how elaborate and lengthy it was. The majority of the groups were marching bands wearing large, paper mache-like masks.
A lot of the costumes seem to be a private joke shared amongst Lucerne residents. Although I was not in on the joke, the elaborate costumes were still interesting.
After the parade ended, groups of party-goers gather around bars at the waterfront to continue the festivities.
Getting to Lucerne: Trains leave regularly from Zurich’s hauptbahnhof (main train station) and the trip takes a little over an hour. Once in Lucerne, the old town is a 5 minute walk from the train station. Check SBB’s website for online-only supersaver fares from major Swiss cities to Lucerne.