Parades, fireworks and ball dance for Belgium’s national holiday weekend
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    Parades, fireworks and ball dance for Belgium’s national holiday weekend

    Last year's festivities Credit: © E. Danhier/Visit.Brussels

    Belgium’s national holiday is celebrated on July 21 and a series of activities including parades, concerts and a traditional ball dance will take place over the weekend.

    The celebrations will also mark the 75th anniversary of Belgium’s liberation from Nazi-German occupying forces during the second world war, chosen as this year’s official theme.

    Saturday, July 20

    The festivities are set to kick off on the evening of June 20 with the traditional National Ball, which will take over the Place du Jeu de Balle in the city’s picturesque Marolles neighbourhood.

    The biggest popular ball dance in Belgium, which attracts around 15,000 attendants every year, will commence from 19:30 with an introduction to the moves before setting free the dancers and performers for the rest of the evening.

    On the same evening, attendants are invited to join the Belgian monarchs in a classical music concert given by the winners of an international competition who will be accompanied by the Belgian National Orchestra.

    Sunday, July 21

    The festivities of the day will start with a Te Deum service which will be held the Cathédrale Saints-Michel-et-Gudule and which the Belgian King and Queen and high religious officials are expected to attend.

    From 10:00 and until 23:00 the Fête au Parc will be held in Parc de Bruxelles and around the Palais de Justice and in the areas around Rue de la Régence and Place Royale.

    Music will be played throughout the day, a host of “folklore-inspired” events will be organised, and museums and churches in the area will also be open to the public.

    At 16:00 the traditional military and civilian parade will set off from the Place des Palais and, to mark off the festivities, the public is invited to gather around the same square to admire the grand fireworks show.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times