This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th September

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commemorative peace doves made by Antwerp school children

This weekend Antwerp Commemorates as the city marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation at the end of the Second World War. Cities in Belgium join with other cities to remember, and there are liberation events across Europe on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Belgian kids went back to school this week after summer holidays, so will no doubt be ready for the weekend. On de Coninckplein there are street theatre and circus activities for free from Sinjoor Circo XL on Saturday and Sunday. We took ours to a similar event on Falconplein not long ago, and they enjoyed it.

Part of Antwerp continues. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

ABCTaproom
ABC Taproom

Friday

Start your weekend at this Flying Pig event at the Café Seefhoek (aka ABC Taproom) courtyard from 5pm – food trucks, DJs, cocktails and local beer.

Saturday

Here’s the Saturday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events. The Liberation Ball from 6pm on Groenplaats is a particular highlight and is free – dress code retro, if you can!

From 1pm -6pm there’s this vinyl sale at Bar Bato Batu. It takes places in the small side street next to the bar, and is a chilled way to spend the afternoon for lovers  and browsers of second hand vinyl bargains.

Sunday

Here’s the Sunday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events.

 

openmonumentendag2019-volledig campagnebeeld-1000x14x14 (1)It’s Open Monument Day across Flanders. This is an annual heritage event which sees museums and other sites of cultural and historical interest open to the public for free. Naturally, many of the venues are in and around Antwerp and you can see them all listed by doing an Antwerp search on the website. Last year, we went to the Groen Kwartier and discovered the Military Hospital, and PAKT. This is a really nice area to hang out in and there is also a rommelmarkt, which will be held again this year too.

I also received a top tip from a reader, recommending De Sterrenkijker School, Durletstraat 8-10: it was originally an orphanage for boys and was designed by the architects who also designed the magnificent Districtshuis Borgerhout – it arose out of a competition 1875, organised by the forerunners of the OCMW (its siblings from the same competition were a girls orphanage in Albert Grisaarstraat (now apartments) and a home for the elderly in Lange Lozanastraat (but destroyed in WWII)).

Durletstraat is named in honour of renowned city architect, Frans Andries Durlet …..Come and discover more of the story! Dip into the past- there will be a small exhibition of posters,  original drawings, photos and articles (retrieved from the archives and some private collections) a timeline, artworks, and photos by current pupils, inspired by the building. This is a great example of the sort of local stories and histories you can unexpectedly stumble upon on Open Monument Day.

sterrenkijker
De Sterrenkijker. Photo: Torsten Louland

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. Around 30 stands where local designers and entrepreneurs show and sell their fashion, jewellery, graphic and interior design products – DJs and a drinks truck take care of the music and refreshment.

Record lovers are spoiled this weekend: there’s another Vinyl Market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling, from 10am -5pm.

cycling-312533_640Cycling fans will enjoy the Antwerp Port Epic – a one day annual cycling event which starts on the Schengenplein, with competitors taking to the stage at around 10, before the race starts, just after 11.

Helaas, the really summery weather is going to fall away this weekend, although it won’t be too chilly, with top temps of around 17 degrees. However, it could be showery now and then, especially on Friday.

Miscellaneous

Please read and share a special blog post which is all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt are on sale now via their website.

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image courtesy of Think Pink

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th & 25th August

Friday

ghostwalkAntwerp Ghostwalks are a well reviewed Antwerp city walk to the darkest and spookiest streets of the city, although they are known for their humour as much as for the horror, and this week you can catch a ghostwalk in English -sign up via email (info@ghostwalk.be) for 12.50 per adult and 7.50 per child.

IMG_20190625_211259_resized_20190627_091432217Just in case you didn’t get enough beer at the Bollekesfeest last weekend, the ABC Taproom (Seefbier brewery) is launching a new one. How considerate! Come and taste the new summer beer from 4pm at the brewery on Indiestraat in the Cadixwijk.

Zomer van Antwerpen’s Muziek in de Wijk goes jazzy this evening on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm (free).

Saturday

It’s the summer edition of  Left Festival on Linkeroever -a large open-air flea market, plus some music, kids’ ents and a bar to enjoy while browsing. Free, 9am -5pm

ABC (Antiques, Books Curiosa) at Den Beulebak is a monthly market in the university area, from 11am- 5pm. Free.

‘T Waagstuk is a lovely old bar serving a wide variety of Belgian beers on Waagstuk. It has been closed for refurb since 2016 and many will be delighted to see that it is opening its doors again this weekend, on Saturday at 4pm.

Sunday

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Cultuurmarkt flags on Meir

It’s the annual Cultuurmarkt all around Antwerp today. Meir (museums, heritage, literature), Steenplein (dance, circus, movement), Groenplaats (theatre & musicals), Grotemarkt & Kaasrui (music, arts centres, film) as well as other locations, will all be busy with 100s of local cultural organisations showing off their performances, workshops, courses, activities and other opportunities to become involved in the artistic and cultural life of the city, as well as their programmes for the upcoming season (eg. theatre, dance, and exhibition programmes). Many organisations from beyond Antwerp come to the city to share what they do.

It’s a massive programme and there are many activities for all ages which can be tried out at various stands. Activities and organisations with kids’ activities will be indicated with the familiar “vlieg” symbol. You can either plan what you’d like to find out about, or just head in to town and see what you come across!

Lambermonmartre is another popular Antwerp regular summer event: an outdoor artmarket where local artists sell and promote their creations in front of KMSKA (Leopold de Waelplaats) from midday until 5pm. There’s always a small bar, and a stand selling fresh cake and sandwiches too, as well as some live jazz/ swing music.

It’s going to be a very warm weekend -especially on Saturday and Sunday when temperatures could reach 30 degrees. Bring your sun screen and your water bottle!

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so you can visit Antwerp museums for free. You can see which ones are free here.

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Race For The Cure Antwerpen
(pic courtesy of Think Pink Belgie)

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breas cancer awareness and research).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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