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.

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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.

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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: 7th, 8th & 9th June

OXOtia! is a free festival taking place in and around Sterckshof Castle (Rivierenhof; you may know it from the recent de Quaeye Werelt event) over the whole weekend. It’s a weekend of arts, music, dance, performances and workshops. Some activities require registration beforehand via the contact form.

Stormkop logoAnother whole weekend option is the STORMKOP Festival: five days of kids’ activities centred around protecting the environment and living creatively in an eco-friendly way. Documentaries, science, food, workshops, cycling, eco-activism, music and even a parent-creche where kids can drop off their burdensome grown-ups, to be safely looked after while they enjoy the festival.

Friday

I’m going to give Dokmarkt another mention as it is set to be really warm on Friday afternoon and evening, and this location is a nice one for outdoor drinks (Napoleonkaai, near MAS) from 3pm -8pm, as well as for buying locally made food products to take home.

NB: Unfortunately, Flying Pig on Operaplein has been cancelled 😦

beerloversFMy personal recommendation for a good replacement would be to head along to the lovely Beerlovers Bar instead, where you are sure to discover a delicious beer that you haven’t tried or even heard of before.

Saturday

Antwerp’s biggest annual funfair opens at Park Spoor Oost: Sinksenfoor 2019 starts today – a traditional funfair with all the rides, colour, noise and high-carb food  you could wish for! Sinksenfoor is on daily until the 7th July.

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Sinksenfoor

Over in the Green Quarter, there will be a day of music and circus action with Circus Marcel from 2pm. This is a lovely area of Antwerp and a great place to take kids.

In Park Spoor Noord it’s the  200 Festival -celebrating 200 years of schools and learning in Antwerp, the day will be marked with talks, workshops, music, performance, activities, demonstrations and of course plenty of food and drink. Plenty going on for kids and their grown-ups. From 11am -8.30pm

Theatre fans: it’s the Flemish Impromarathon hosted by Swaajp and taking place at the Theater Het Klokhuis. It’s a 12 hour marathon, with performances in both English and Dutch (Dutch shows between 10am -4pm). Tickets here for either the full day or a half day.

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Sunday

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 16.03.32Gardeners and lovers of flowers in Antwerp always speak highly of the beautiful blooms at the annual Rivierenhof Rozenfeest -it’s not just a chance to see the roses but also to get gardening advice, and enjoy other activities such as performances, music, a picnic and yoga. Rozenfeest takes place from 11am- 6pm, and is free.

Circus seems to be very much in this summer: catch Sinjor Circo on Falconplein from 1pm- 6pm.

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am- 6pm, with their usual brand of locally crafted jewellery, accessories, household items, stationery and foods.

Good luck to you if you’re running in the Borgerhout Reuzenloop (urban run), which occurs at the same time as the Terlopleinfeest, a free neighbourhood street party offering food, drinks, performances, facepainting and of course a bouncy castle. Both events start at 1pm; the festival continues until 8pm.

The weather will continue warm -especially Friday (up to 23 degrees)- cooling off a bit on Saturday. There may be some showers.

Miscellaneous

Cafe Capital has opened in Stadspark (on the spot where the nightclub Cafe Capital once stood, until it burned down in a fire in 2010) and this week we took the kids along for lunch. I totally recommend it, as I have often sat in the park while the kids played, wishing that there was a terrace where I could get a glass of wine or a coffee and now there is. They also serve food (I am vegetarian and really enjoyed the roasted carrot salad). Watchful parents have a good view of pretty much the whole playground from the terrace -perfect!

Monday (10th June) is a public holiday in Belgium (Whit Monday). Goegekregen will be on Theaterplein for a holiday edition of their retro/ vintage/ second hand markets

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

nature-4202726_640You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).

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It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravaganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.

Break a leg, BATS!

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This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th & 10th June

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this post …

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Flying Pig is on Steenplein: start your weekend with outdoor drinks and music. This is a particularly nice location for this event -right next to the River Schelde. Enjoy a bright sunset if it’s a clear evening.

Saturday

There’s Street theatre and fun in the Groenekwartier

And the second of two family days on Damplein. Take the kids along for music, performances, face-painting, free workshops and entertainment. Food, drinks and ice-creams available.

Sunday

There are three markets today for browsers and bargain-hunters:

Markt van Morgen from midday on Kloosterstraat: jewellery, stationery, clothing, MvMFinterior accessories and other creations from local, small-scale businesses and creative individuals. Smaller and more relaxed than Swan Market (see below) in my opinion, however as they are not far apart, it is possible to see both.

There’s a Rommelmarkt on Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) which is always a fun square to hang out when the weather is good. 9am -6pm.

And Swan Market is on Grote Markt, along with the usual food and music which accompanies this busy market offering creative, fashion, jewellery and design products.

And if you prefer to buy nothing and get away from it all, head to the Rozenfeest at Rivierenhof. A must for gardeners, rose-overs or those who want to enjoy some green space.

Miscellaneous

The Baroque Antwerpen program is now underway!

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Tickets for the ticketed events on the Zomer van Antwerpen agenda are now for sale via the program page of  the ZVA website.

Frederic van Strydonck got in touch this week to tell me about the short film he made “Antverpia”:  “My friend Edouard (who operated the camera) and I both grew up nearby Antwerp, but studied film-making abroad. So we never really made any films in Antwerp but always were very keen to do it. We wanted to show a side of Antwerp that doesn’t often gets featured: the diversity of ethnicities, cultures, religions, etc. We wanted to make a video that celebrates as many facets of this city as possible.”

And here is what they made.

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Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went  and had a great time. It’s on until 24th June. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

The weather might be slightly cloudier this weekend, but temperatures are still pleasant (20 -22 degrees) with the chance of a shower on Friday.

 

 

 

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