The first “Feria
Andaluza”, in 1992, was organized by the Peña
Arte y Cultura de Andalucía (P.A.C.A) under its President,
Mr. Manuel Ramírez at the Elisabeth
Park 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.
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, the new
President of the Peña who, after
renegotiating 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
which 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.
So it was that, in 1997, with the
participation of representatives of other nationalities and the support
of the Municipal Authorities, the brainchild 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. Federico
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
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 brings 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
In 2007, with the unstinting support
of the Mayor of Brussels, Mr. Freddy Thielmans,
and Mr Phillipe
Close, Councillor for Tourism, we wanted EuroFeria to
be included in the festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
founding of the European Union. This was achieved thanks to the efforts
of a solid team led by its new President Mr. Antonio
Wolf supported by Mr Federico
Gallo de Haro who is now the President of Honour.
In 2008 we took part in the celebrations
marking the 50th anniversary of the Brussels
EXPO ’58 exhibition and the erection of the Atomium.
EuroFeria 2009 will again take place
round the foot of the Atomium
EuroFeria is a cultural and gastronomic festival – and ENTRY
The logistics are now in the hands of professionals: erection of tents
and marquees, electricity, toilets, cleaning etc. Only the organization
of events and the secretariat remain largely voluntary.
Many of the services provided in the past were provided free of charge
but, with the rapid expansion of the event we are now obliged to pay for
them. Fortunately the City of Brussels, our indispensable and welcome partner,
has helped us to cover the cost of sevices provided by the City.
We particularly wish to thank Mr. Freddy Thielemans,
Mr. Philippe Close, the City Council and its various departments for their
Our thanks also go to Mr. Charles Picqué,
Mr. Guy Vanhengel and the Government of the Region of Brussels Capital
for the subsidies granted to improve the cultural aspect and image of the
A special «thank you» to all others who support
us in so many ways but are too numerous to mention by name.
Let us maintain our momentum in making this event one of the most prestigious
cultural and gastronomic festivals in the Brussels region.