King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) festivities invite locals and visitors alike to celebrate the King’s birthday. In the streets, squares, canals, parks and everywhere in between, the city is bursting with orange. King’s Day is the biggest street party of the year. What’s on and tips in Haarlem.
King’s Day 2015 – Koningsdag 2015 is the Dutch national holiday to be held on Monday 27 April 2015. Following the abdication of Queen Beatrix in 2013 and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, the former Queen’s Day (30 April, the birthday of former Queen Juliana) has become King’s Day (27 April, birthday of Willem-Alexander). On King’s Day morning each year the Dutch Royal family (House of Orange-Nassau) visit a chosen town in Netherlands which is shown live on state television.
King’s Day is one of the world’s greatest open-air parties – an event everyone should try and experience at least once in their life!
Celebrations start the evening before on Sunday 26 April (King’s Night or Koningsnacht) and then continue all of the next day.
One of the main highlights of King’s Day is the citywide free market (vrijmarkt). This is where people set up stalls and sell clothes, food, drinks and just about anything else – from plants, old electronics, vintage items, bric-a-brac and a load of old tat. Prices are negotiable which is all part of the fun. Many Haarlem residents set up shop directly outside their own houses. There are also professional traders and opportunists who take advantage of the tax-free trading. The free market in Haarlem officially starts from 6.00 on King’s Day and goes on all day until 22.00, although things start to wind down from about 20.00. Bargain hunters should get to the free market early.
WHAT’S ON IN HAARLEM:
Around the Grote Markt
In the middle of the Grote Markt there is the fair. Mmm… for me especially lots of noise. But my kids like it.
From the beginning of the afternoon, the party starts in the bars around the Bavo:
- Van Beinum: beer, fries and music at the Klokhuisplein. The finest stage around the Bavo.
- Studio: between 3.00 and 23.00 DJs alternate each other.
- Club Ruis: from 23.00 DJs à gogo. Entrance fee is 3 euros.
The cafes on the Botermarkt party from 13:00 to 19:00.
Party in Proeflokaal de Blauwe Druif from 12,30.
Raaks Hortus Square – Jopenkerk
In this square, known as the square of the Jopenkerk, stands a large music stage. Organized by the Jopenkerk and Raaks area, Haarlem beers can not be missed. Among other Live Music Performer Collective feat. Joel’s Tomb and Emy Perez. Free entrance, from 13:00 to 20:00.
Koningsdag in the nicest little streets of the Haarlem Vijfhoek. In front of Café de Vijfhoek there are performances by bands and DJs from Haarlem. From 12:00 to about 23:00 PM.
New this year! The Je Suis Energy Music Team organizes Koningsdag here. Feet in the grass and hopefully sunshine, mountains of beer, football and prosecco. From 12.00 it’s party time!
For fun and games, children’s clothes, toys and young performers head to Kenaupark. Kenaupark will this year again be transformed into a flea and family park. Children aged 6 to 15 years can show their talent here during a great talent show. There are also Haarlem artists and food trucks.
Now you have a nice list of tips for Monday. Enjoy!