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The Zomerfeest

This was actually two weeks ago, but I was excitedly posting about Jeremy Thorpe that day. The annual Zomerfeest in our village has been getting more sophisticated over the 17 years we have been living here; it started with a barbecue and a bit of music, and has become one of my unmissable events of the year. The highlight this year was a Sunday lunchtime concert by Mechelen band Selene’s Garden, with this vibrant cover of “Billie Jean”:



It was a nice end-of-summer weekend, which had started with a Saturday walk up the plateau and back down the river valley.


We saw a real beaver dam:


The nature walk was led as ever by local guru Ernst Gülcher.

Back to Sunday, and the main business of the village barbecue:





In a corner, kids were making bird boxes. It’s never too soon to learn how to use a hammer.



In another corner, a local artist was drawing caricatures for a small fee.


And the M-City Ramblers were performing bluegrass among the throngs:


On the lawn, more kids were selling off old toys and games at knockdown prices - one of the ways that the Zomerfeest marks the passing of the years.





One of the loveliest aspects of the Zomerfeest is that local artists exhibit their work in village homes and gardens. These are mostly sclptures, as the painters are rightly leery of having their work “all over the internet”/ Note particularly the creator of the last four.












Finally, a somewhat sombre note. The whole Zomerfeest depends crucially on volunteers, and in our first few years in the village, an American neighbour, married to a Belgian, was one of the its guiding lights. That is, up to 2006, when she was murdered by her husband. A bench on the Feestplein commemorates her memory, but I guess the Zomerfeest itself does that too.


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