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Huy Summer Festival of Art, Music & Culture: Belgian Destination City for Leisure, Shopping, Music, Tourism

Published by Rosalyn Yoshina

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Huy is fast emerging as one of Belgium’s destination cities for shopping, music, tourism, history, culture and happenings. The 34th St John’s Bonfire (Feu de la Saint-Jean) at Mont Falise ushered summer in followed by the Festival of Cherries (La Fête de la Cerises) in Tihange; Ça Jazz à Huy, a most-awaited international jazz fest, and Les Bouquinistes, the city’s annual book fair.

Feast of the Assumption (Huy Foire du Quinze Août)

For the month of August alone, the City Council of Huy and its corporate partners have lined-up several activities occurring simultaneously, the biggest of which is the Feast of the Assumption (Huy Foire du Quinze Août), with fairgrounds spanning the length of Avenue Delchambre and Quai d’Arona, by the River Meuse.

Hundreds of fairground personnel are manning attractions such as a giant Ferris wheel, a house of pirates, over-sized slides, shooting galleries, tombola, duck fishing, kiddies’ rally, go-karts, pony carousels, bump cars, roller-coasters, revolving machines like the New Dance, and novel offerings, bull ride (le Torros) and the gravity-defying G-Force (le Booster). From 7th-23rd August, 16h onwards, ticket prices vary according to attraction, from €1. Reduced fair ticket prices on Tuesday, the 18th. Snack items from €3.

Gastronomic Society, Fireworks Display, and Le Kids Day

On Saturday, the 15th, Assumption Day, members of the Regional Gastronomic Society of Hesbaye-Meuse-Condroz, namely the Confrérie des Chevaliers de l’Ordre des Escargots de Betonval, the Confrérie du Vin du Perron de Statte and the Confrérie de l’Hydromel de Tihange, will welcome the public to its all-day open-air restaurant. Diners can look forward to savouring a huge variety of food and drink specialities produced by the region’s artisans. From11h onwards. Fairgrounds open at 15h on this particular day.

At night, visitors are in for a massive display of fireworks (Feu d’artifice tiré du Fort). Best viewed along the left banks of the River Meuse, near Maison Batta, or from the Fort of Huy, or from the tall buildings arrayed on both sides of the river. Parking may pose a problem. Fireworks display, 22h.

With several fair attractions geared toward youngsters, the management has dedicated Thursday, the 13th, as Le Kids Day, which will feature discounted ticket prices, free ice cream, face painting, and stuffed toys. From15h30-18h.

Huy Summer Festival

The city has been dancing to the music of Marka Y la Sonora Cubana, and rocking to the sounds of cover artists On the Road Again as Bernard Lavilliers, October Plays U2, Machine Gun as ACDC, Andy Kirk as Peter Gabriel, Gallow Pole & Dr Ruth as Led Zeppelin, to name a few.

On Friday, the 14th, JD Davis, Jona B, Fredo and Stromae, will dominate the scene. From 21h-2h45, tickets priced at €10 each, two-day pass for €18 each.

On Saturday, the 15th, the festival comes to a close, with performances by Quentin Mosimannn, Furax and Fredo. From 21h-2h45, tickets priced at €12, two-day pass for €18 each.

Festival of Art and World Music

The Couvent des Frères Mineurs and the Péniche Aurélia Feria will be the official venues of the Festival of Art and World Music (Festival d’Art de Huy, Musiques et Voix du Monde), which will highlight traditional or experimental rhythms aimed at music lovers keen on discovering new sounds and foreign cultures.

Stimmhorn (Switzerland), with their yodels, accordion and tuba music, and Mathilde Renault & Jonas Knutsson (Belgium/Sweden), with their Brazilian or jazzy compositions, will launch the festival, which will also feature some of the best musicians from around Europe and Africa. Belgium’s finest, Tuur Florizoone, topbills the show. From 19th-23rd August, 20h onwards, tickets priced at €14-15, concert passes for 3/4/5 shows are sold at €33/44/55, respectively. Free concerts are held at the Péniche Aurélia Feria, at 18h & at 21h30, but places are limited, so the public is advised to come one hour ahead of schedule.

So if one’s summer vacation includes travelling to Belgium, this calendar of events may be helpful in planning activities that may appeal to everybody.

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