Unless you've spent the last few weeks under a rock, you cannot have missed the fact that next Tuesday, April 30, is a big day: we celebrate the Queen's birthday, and this year we will also be celebrating the abdication of Queen Beatrix abdicates and the inauguration of her son Willem-Alexander gets as our new King.

But beware, while Tuesday promises to be interesting, this is also the day after one of the biggest parties in town. Traditionally, the night before Queen’s Day – called Koninginnenacht or Queen’s Night – the whole city is the venue for one massive street party, with different live stage performances at the Grote Markt and Vismarkt , as well as at several bars across town. This YouTube movie from last year will give you a good idea of what goes on.

Some small streets like the Kromme Elleboog, which has lots of bars, are so crowded that everybody stands outside and  there is actually  adanger of getting trampled. The City council therefor decided to shut down some of the smallest alleys.

Lots of people bring their own drinks, which is allowed on the streets, but there are also lots of temporary open-air bars that serve beer in plastic cups, in stead of glasses, to prevent accidents. If you want to know more about the live music program, check out this website. It’s in Dutch but you can find out when the various events start.

So remember, if you want to act like a real Groningen student, go out on Monday night, and on Queen’s Day, just nurse your hangover while watching the inaugurarion festivities on television.


26 april 2013

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