Brussels Midi Fair won't accept defeat


No fewer than 129 attractions, spread over more than a 2 km-long stretch along the Boulevard de l'Abattoir and the Boulevard du Midi on the Brussels small ring road, are waiting until 22 August for those who support a coronavirus-safe fair. Rulers, local administrators, plagues... nothing or nobody could or can bring this folk festival down.

The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, so the usual precautionary measures will remain in force at the Brussels Fair. We do not have to fear the situations of Emperor Charles in the 16th century and Emperor Joseph II in the 18th century. They did not shy away from harsh measures against licentious revelry. This was no surprise from the Emperor, from Charles V, who was not exactly an ascetic himself, it was all the more surprising. But the people of Brussels always knew how to avoid them. In 1841, Mayor Charles de Brouckère, who was apparently not a happy Frenchman either, thought that enough was enough. He called the park a backward medieval amusement and would draw a line under it once and for all, although in his defence it must be said that cholera was rampant in his town at the time. Well, finally ... Forty years later, in 1880, Mayor Félix Vanderstraeten - himself a brewer by profession - gave the green light to start up the time-honoured popular entertainment that was sorely missed. The whole carousel started up again and again 'It moves, it turns and it waggles’. Criticism has been rife all this time, but the Brussels Fair is still standing!