EuroFeria Andaluza
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EuroFeria Andaluza
From 1 to 5 June
Atomium - Heysel

From the Feria to the EuroFeria Andaluza

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.

Federico Gallo
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.

Jacques Pivin  
Jacques Pivin

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 Koekelberg. 

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 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 etc.

Freddy Thielemans

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 2011 will again take place round the foot of the Atomium

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

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.

  Philippe Close
Philippe Close
We particularly wish to thank Mr. Freddy Thielemans, Mr. Philippe Close, the City Council and its various departments for their wholehearted support.

Our thanks also go to Mr. Charles Picqué, Mr. Jean-Luc Vanraes and the Government of the Region of Brussels Capital for the subsidies granted to improve the cultural aspect and image of the Region.

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.