Belgium gears up for national celebrations
20 July 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s national holiday on 21 July will be used to mark the 60th anniversary of the country’s liberation from the Nazis in September 1944.
As well as the usual celebrations, which take place annually on 21 July, special events are planned to remember how Belgium was liberated from Hitler’s Germany.
Like last year, the celebrations will start on Tuesday night at 8pm with a series of free concerts in Place du Jeu de Balle in the Marolles in Brussels.
The line-up includes accordionist Jos Mommen, Lou and the Hollywood Bananas, Jaune Toujours & Guests and The Magical Flying Thunderbirds.
On Wednesday morning, at 10am, there will be church services, attended by members of the royal family.
The King, the Queen and Queen Fabiola will be present at Sts-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde will be at Sainte-Waudru Cathedral in Mons and Prince Laurent and Princess Claire will be at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Antwerp at 11.45.
The allied countries, as well as Germany, have been invited to take part in a procession which starts from the Royal Palace at 4 p.m. after an inspection of the troops by the King in Rue de la Loi at 3.30pm.
Several World War Two vehicles are to join the parade.
A party will be geld from 10am to midnight at Place Poelaert and Place Royale in Brussels, with free entertainment planned for all ages.
A military camp from the Liberation is to be recreated at Place Poelaert.
Institutions like the Palais de Justice, the Notre-Dame church at the Sablon, police stations, fire stations, emergency medical centres and newspaper La Libre Belgique are opening their doors to the public throughout 21 July.
The federal parliament opens from 11am to 7pm with entrance at the Place de la Nation side.
Federal museums such as the Musical Instruments Museum, the planetarium and Porte de Hal have special events planned, including guided visits, and are charging visitors just EUR 1 each.
A firework display rounds the day off at the Palais des Academies on the Place des Palais at 11pm.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news