Finally back, that is the prevailing feeling among the organisers of the Brabantsedag. The annual wagon parade in Heeze returns to the streets of the village after a two-year corona break. Volunteers can’t wait. “It’s already starting to itch”.
Harald van Schie, organising member of the Brabantsedag, can’t believe his luck. Just like any other enthusiast, he says. “Heeze is a very close community, at least 20 per cent are really active members of the parade. It’s all about the Brabantsedag all year round. And so finally again without corona troubles. After 62 years of continuously staging the parade, it feels super weird that it hasn’t happened in two years. But that makes it extra nice that it can happen again. A real goosebump moment, it is already starting to itch”.
Many members of the organisation stopped. Still, not continuing the parade was not an option, Van Schrie tells. “The bond with the event is so important for Heeze. The flags and posters are already hanging out. The village forms a unity”.
The organisation sees hospitality as an important spearhead for the coming edition. “It often takes place on one of the hottest days of the month. We are therefore planning to set up a covered grandstand for the public”.
The Brabantsedag is a float parade that takes place annually on the last Sunday in August. Sixteen float groups choose their own theme from an overarching one, on which they design and build their own float. The themes always have a connection with the history of Brabant.
The spectacle attracts between 30,000 and 40,000 visitors each year. Quite a number, considering that Heeze has a population of just under 10,000.
This year’s theme – ‘Met (with) Verve‘ – had already been decided on in 2020. The edition of that year, which was eventually cancelled, had the same theme. Van Schrie: “Painters from Brabant are central. It is up to each building group to design a kind of ‘two-layer translation’ of a painting they have chosen”.
~Ed. – With the word ‘verve‘ there is a word play on ‘verf‘ (paint).
Translated by: Bob