“Feria” history
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Promotional video EuroFeria

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  Feria 2004
From 19th till to 21th may
Elisabeth Park
In front of the Basilica of Koekelberg
The Andalusian EuroFeria since 1992
The first “Feria Andaluza”, in 1992, was organized the Peña Arte y Cultura de Andalucía under its President, Mr. Manuel Ramírez. As in previous years, apart from 1993, this year’s “Feria” will take place in Elisabeth Park, near the Koekelberg Basilica, Brussels.

The 1992 “Feria”, organized by and for the Andalusian community of Belgium, was a great success and we all hold fond memories of it in our hearts.  The future of this event, however, was put in jeopardy by the refusal of the authorities to allow us to use Elisabeth Park thereafter because of a certain amount of damage done in the park that year.

The 1993 Feria was organized by a new team from the Peña and was held in Laeken.  The success of this was marred by over-expenditure which put the financial situation of the Association in peril.

Planning of the 1994 Feria was coordinated by Mr. Federico Gallo (photo), the new President of the Peña who, after renegociating terms with the Brussels Institute for the Environment, (IBGE), succeeded in arranging for us to return to Elisabeth Park.  We have to thank the IBGE, and in particular Mr. Serge Juwet who, in spite of the possible risks involved, had confidence in us – correctly assessing the potential of our enterprise and its inevitable future expansion. We were privileged to have the support of Mr. Jacques Pivin, Mayor of Koekelberg, and the Municipal Authorities who gave us the hope and courage to continue with our project.

Atrocious weather conditions in 1995 were chiefly responsible for the curtailment of our activities that year.

In 1996, anxious to repulse the demons who had beset us in the previous year –threatening the very existence of our Feria with the fear that it would disappear for ever– we took our courage in both hands.  We had obtained IBGE authorization to hold the event again in Elisabeth Park.  Our Feria really took off: a great success with 10.000 people attending, radiant sunshine, euphoric ambiance and the prospect of a shining future before us. 1996 was also the year we had the good fortune to meet Mr. Jean Pierre De Keyn (photo) who, impressed by the success of our Feria, had it in mind to establish in the Commune of Koekelberg a similar festival, oriented towards Europe.

So it was that, in 1997, with the participation of representatives of other nationalities and the support of the Municipal Authorities, the brain-child of Mr. Jean Pierre De Keyn became a reality. Euro+Feria = EuroFeria. With perseverance in the spirit of innovation the number of visitors increased to 20,000.  This marked the birth of  EuroFeria as we know it. The measure of the enormous success of our enterprise for the future can be gauged from the impressive increase in the number of visitors:  more than 100.000 in 1999 and more than 160,000 in 2004 – a spectacular success brought about by hard work and enthusiasm for popular culture.  The support of Mr. Philippe Pivin, present Mayor of Koekelberg, and his Municipal Authorities continues to be considerable.  In addition, the financial contribution made to us by the Region of Brussels Council enables us to expand our cultural activities.

In 2001 EuroFeria achieved the status of ASBL (non-profit making Association) with Mr. Frederico Gallo, President, and Mr. Jean Pierre De Keyn, Co-president, and a committee comprising members of the Peña de Arte y Cultura de Andalucia and the Municipal Authorities of Koekelberg.  They ensure that the spirit of the rules laid down for the running of such organizations is scrupulously respected.

It is easy to see that the more recent EuroFerias are not limited either to orthodox Andalusian or to Spanish tradition - though these remain predominant.  Participation is freely open to the people of Brussels, with its cosmopolitan population, and to those from other European countries.

The collaboration of other towns twinned with Koekelberg bring us the poetic beauty of Andalusia via Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cadiz), the warmth of the Mediterranean with the town of Hyères (Var) and the fresh breeze from the East thanks to the city of Kolobrzeg (Poland). Other towns have close links with us: Bastogne, Huelva, Almería, Málaga etc.

EuroFeria is a cultural and gastronomic festival – and ENTRY IS FREE.

The logistic organization is now in the hands of professionals: erection of tents and marquees, electricity, toilets, cleaning etc. Only the organization of events, and the secretariat, are still, to a great extent, voluntary.

In the past many of these services were provided free of charge - but this has changed. We now have to pay the bill for the services of the Red Cross, the city cleaning department and the fire-brigade.  Fortunately, the IBGE does not make a charge for the use of the Park.  This and the financial support we receive from the Brussels-Capital Authorities and the inestimable logistic support from the Commune of Koekelberg, enable us to balance our budget.

Let us maintain our momentum in making this event one of the most prestigious cultural and gastronomic festivals in the Brussels region.

© 2006 EuroFeria Andaluza a.s.b.l. Hispagenda.com