On Ascension Day, Thursday 26 May, the Brasserie Parkiet event will take place in Koekelberg, Brussels. This new daytime event is spontaneously being organised by a Koekelberg resident, who hopes for ‘local fun amongst each other’.
“The set-up is successful if people walk away and found it enjoyable,” Sven Jongen, who has been living in Koekelberg for nearly three years, tells Bruzz. A month and a half ago, he decided to organise something for Ascension Day.
He has been active in his municipality for a while, helping out at Café Plazey in the Elisabeth Park and participating in meetings of the De Platoo community centre.
Rue des Braves
The event will take place on Rue des Braves. Part of the street has been closed to car traffic until 31 August, as the community centre and the municipality agreed to transform it into an accessible meeting place.
To get even more citizens, associations and organisations involved, Jongen decided to organise the local event.
After this temporary experiment, the street will know its destiny. Its name will also be changed from Rue des Braves to Place des Soeurs Brontë, in line with the feminisation of street names.
Jongen’s motivations to organise a local event are his desire to create a cosy atmosphere and his passion for sustainability. “I like having a kind of village feeling. In addition, I have recently been working on sustainability, which is what I want to implement into the event.”
The daytime event will have a bar, food stands, a vegetable market, live music, children’s entertainment, street theatre and even a bicycle repair shop.
In order to bring the project to life, Jongen received support from De Platoo, as the community centre had originally planned a neighbourhood party on May 20 but decided to collaborate for ascension day instead.
The food stands will offer seasonal vegetables, as can be found at the sustainable farmers’ market in Jette. “The farmer of Seasonal Taste always has food surpluses and thinks that is a great pity. The day before Brasserie Parkiet I will harvest the vegetables myself that he would otherwise have to throw away.”
Pay what you can
The spontaneity of the event also creates some logistical challenges, but Jongen is not too worried about that. “I have no idea how many people will come to Brasserie Parkiet and therefore how much food or how many drinks we need to provide. But it will be fine,” he laughs.
He is not deterred by the many challenges that come with the first edition of an event. Instead, he decided to experiment with payment options by allowing people to pay what they can.
“If people come to get two beers and three wines, we ask them to give what they think it's worth. For some people €3 is a lot, for others not. This makes the event accessible to everyone.”
Most of the expenses are out of his own pocket, but he considers that a side issue. “What is important is that people come together and that it will be a nice, pleasant afternoon.”
The proceeds of the event will go to Bûûmplanters, an organisation working to make Brussels and its surroundings greener.