|The first “Feria
Andaluza”, in 1992, was organized the Peña
Arte y Cultura de Andalucía under its President, Mr. Manuel
Ramírez. This year the Euroferia has changed its location
and is being held for the first time beside the Atomium in 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.
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.
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
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
year 2007, to be involved in the celebration of the 50 th anniversary of
the founding of the European Union, we are holding the EuroFeria in
the vicinity of the Atomium. This has been specifically organised
with solid teamwork by the committee under its new President, Mr Antonio
Wolf with the help of the ex-President (now Honorary President)
Mr Fédérico Gallo de Haro.
EuroFeria is a cultural and gastronomic
festival – and ENTRY IS FREE.
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, etc.
Grants made to us by the Region of Bussels-Capital enable us to cover
the cost of a certain number of these - but not all.
Let us maintain our momentum in making this event one of the most prestigious
cultural and gastronomic festivals in the Brussels region.