Tilburgse Kermis26 August 2020
/ The biggest funfair in the Benelux gets underway this month in Tilburg: a change with tradition due to measures resulting from the health emergency, but nonetheless very well received by both showmen and patrons /
Life always has surprises, and fortunately they are not always bad. Travelling showmen from the Netherlands have experienced just how true this is this summer: after the season had seemed to have been turned completely upside down for them, being unable to start working again until September, on June 25 Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a change of course, allowing funfairs and major events to take place as early as 1 July, provided that adult visitors stay a minimum distance of 1.5m apart.
No sooner said than done, in Tilburg, in the Brabant region (near the Belgian border), the municipality set to work in a race against time to organise its traditional and very famous July fair: the Tilburgse Kermis, the largest funfair in the Benelux, an event that usually brings together around 250 attractions (from the Netherlands and beyond) and attracts up to 1.4 million visitors in 10 days. One of the unique features of the event is the perfect integration between the travelling show and the city, with the rides installed in the old town centre as well as the close cooperation between the municipality, showmen, retailers and citizens.
Given the significant restrictions on distancing (with the need then to also carry out on-the-spot checks) and the very little time available to organise the event, the philosophy of the municipality and in particular the councillor for events Rolph Dols was to do at least the bare minimum. The compromise reached was to have a 10-day fair (from 17 to 26 July), but much more limited in size (about 55 attractions), open every day from 1 to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends), and no longer distributed on a 3.5km long walkway, but in 4 fenced-off squares to manage access. No pedestrian path to follow (even if the direction of travel is suggested through carpet lanes), however, and not even the requirement to wear masks. Following the government rules, moreover, the 1.5m distancing rule only applies to those over 18 and not from the same household.
The fireworks show on the last day of the fair and Roze Maandag, Pink Monday dedicated to gay pride, with parades and themed shows and one of the highlights of the event, attracting up to 300,000 people in one day, have both been cancelled. In their place, activities and…
Continue reading Games & Parks Industry July/August 2020, page 88