On Tuesday, the City of Brussels officially announced that this year's edition of its Christmas "Winter Wonders" event would not take place due to the coronavirus restrictions.
"Although the City of Brussels is aware of the considerable economic impact of this decision, it has no choice but to cancel Belgium's largest Christmas market in order to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic," the Brussels' aldermen for Culture, Tourism and Major Events, and Economic Affairs stated in a press release.
Belgium's authorities had already hinted at the fact that Winter Wonders would not be able to take place this year a few weeks ago, but an official decision had not been made yet.
While the Winter Wonders event itself has been cancelled, the eighth edition of the Brussels By Lights festival can still take place, with the large Christmas tree and festive lights on the Brussels Grand Place and other busy places, according to the alderman for Economic Affairs Fabian Maingain.
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This edition of the lights festival will consist of 142 illuminated shopping streets, "to support the hoped-for reopening of shops before the end of the year," he said.
"While respecting the health rules in force, visitors will be able to interact with these astonishing installations and share this unique experience on social networks," Maingain added.
"While everyone's health remains the absolute priority, I think it is essential to preserve some of the magic of the holiday season," said Delphine Houba, alderman for Culture, Tourism and Major Events.
"Whether it's with the majestic pine tree, which, as every year, will occupy a prominent place on the Grand Place, or with the festive lights in our streets, with atmospheric decoration, we would like to thank all the people of Brussels for their efforts."
The Brussels Times