Book & Expo

175th anniversary will be celebrated with exhibition and book

The Ghent Festivities (Gentse Feesten) are the benchmark in the lives of many generations of festivalgoers. In 1843, with the encouragement of Ghent's industrial bourgeoisie, dozens of Ghent's local and neighbourhood festivals united to form a single, large Municipal Festival. On the programme there were demonstrations of sports and games, historic processions, markets and fairs. More than a century later, the Ghent Festivities have grown into one of the biggest and most-visited city festival in Europa.
The Gentse Feesten exhibition will showcase a rich collection of posters, programmes, photos, film clips and interviews, with personal stories from the past and present. It commemorates not only important milestones, but shows the evolution and dynamism of the city, the festivities and its audiences. The exhibition is from 9 June to 2 September in the House of Alijn.


In addition, a richly illustrated book is being published to mark the 175th anniversary, in which the reader can discover how the Ghent Festivities came about and how they have developed into one of the biggest cultural festivals in Europe. It's a story that began in 1843 on the horse-racing course in Sint-Denijs, then took in the city centre and finally had a relaunch in Sint-Jacobs with Walter De Buck. Based on interviews with a number of key figures and square organisers, a behind-the-scenes image of the Ghent Festivities is built up, with remarkable anecdotes. The book ends with a look to the future of the Ghent Festivities. Published by Pandora Publishers, it will be available in bookshops, the House of Alijn, and the Stadswinkel in early June 2018. At the same time, the website will be launched.

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