Brussels Balloon Parade draws 30,000
The first Balloon Parade in Brussels on Saturday featured helium balloons in the form of well-known comic strip characters.
The ceremonious opening of the Brussels Year of the Comic Strip, the balloon parade drew some 30,000 people. Downtown Brussels was turned into a balloon wonderland.
At the head of the parade in Brussels were a floating, larger than life Manneken Pis balloon and a blow-up version of the Atomium, built for the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. They were followed by balloons of various comic strip characters, such as Robbedoes and the Smurfs.
The Brussels Balloon Parade was inspired by the Balloon Parade of New York which has been organised annually since 1924.
The parade began at the Brussels South Station and went through downtown Brussels, past the Bourse Stock Exchange building on the principal downtown boulevard and ended up at the North Station. There were some 30,000 spectators, mostly families with children. The parade went very smoothly and the atmosphere was calm. The police reported no incidents.
The parade was the opening event of the Brussels Year of the Comic Strip. For more information on the various events taking place throughout the year visit the Brussels 2009 BD Comics Strip website click here.