The traditional Sunday parade of the Alost carnival, the central element of this three-day event, attracted between 80,000 and 85,000 spectators. This was per local police reports. The police stated that they did not have to intervene in any major incidents.
The police spokeswoman, Katrien Ottevaere, says the police estimate that the audience was “slightly larger than last year when the total number of spectators hit 80,000.”
The parade started at 1 p.m., and covered a route of 7 km, before breaking up at 9 p.m. The President of the Open VLD, Gwendolyn Rutten was disguised as a witch! Also amongst the other personalities present were the Flemish Minister of Culture, Sven Gatz, Alexander and Herman De Croo and Karel and Jean-Jacques De Gucht.
Some 80 carnival-related businesses and 208 groups were involved in the parade, making up a record number of participants.
Red Cross first aid posts dealt with some 18 people, two of whom were minors, whilst the emergency services in the region’s hospitals treated seven cases. Three people were arrested, two for being drunk on a public highway and one for criminal damage.
The Alost carnival will continue today (Monday), with the highlights being the so-called “Broomstick Dance” and onion throwing.