Emmen rolls out the Orange carpet for the King’s birthday


On 27 April 2024, Emmen will roll out the Orange carpet for King Willem-Alexander. He celebrates his birthday in the city centre together with members of the Royal family.

The King will be sung to by Bouke and Jannes, among others, and will conclude his visit to Emmen with a performance by Daniël Lohues. But that’s just a small selection from the programme.

Between the arrival of the Royal party at the square Noorderplein and the final party at the square Raadhuisplein, the King will be welcomed at nine squares with a festive mix of dance, music, sports and culture.

“I’m convinced that we’ll give him and the members of the Royal family an unforgettable birthday with this great programme,” Mayor Eric van Oosterhout says.

The programme connects the past and present of Emmen with the future ambitions of the municipality and the Southeast Drenthe region. This is done in a contemporary, but above all festive manner, with attention also being paid to themes such as the circular economy.

“The programme is the result of a lot of enthusiasm,” Alderman Guido Rink says. “Enthusiasm among residents, among the sports and culture sector and among (catering) businesses. We’ve incorporated as many ideas from the public as possible when we put together the programme.

And the fact that we received almost 3000 doodles – basic drawings created with a few strokes of the pen – to decorate the route in a very creative way, exceeded our wildest expectations. I’m proud of everyone’s input. Thanks to all the contributions, not only a versatile, but also a surprising programme has been put together. We stand for pride, space and energy. Those values are reflected in the programme.”

King’s Day programme in Emmen

The programme shows old, new, known and unknown sides of Emmen. But above all, it’s someone’s birthday and so it’s party time. Drenthe is the cycling province of the Netherlands. Cycling in Emmen and the surrounding area is popular.

Usually with a tailwind, sometimes with a headwind. This is home to some great cycling events, such as the European Cycling Championships recently. King Willem-Alexander and his family are therefore accompanied by a group of cyclists to the starting point of King’s Day 2024: the square Noorderplein.

Starting square and heritage street

The Royal family will be officially welcomed at the square Noorderplein by the King’s Commissioner Jetta Klijnsma, Mayor Eric van Oosterhout and children’s Mayor Kirsten Alting. The King is sung to by Bouke Scholten, the Elvis of Emmen.

The family then proceeds to walk to the street Noorderstraat. Here a gallery of living statues depicts the rich history of Emmen: From the megalithic tomb builders to Vincent van Gogh (who stayed in Emmen during a formative period, where he found his inspiration), from hard-working farmers to the stocking girl statue at the Danlon plant.

The city carries its past with pride, but also looks ahead. This is reflected in the fashion show at the end of the street, where age-old local costumes serve as inspiration for today’s fashion designers.

Dance square

What do classical dancing, breakdancing, folk dance and Afro dance have in common? They are all practised in Emmen. Thirteen dance groups demonstrate all kinds of different styles and show how all boundaries fade on the dance floor: dancing connects. It’s a beautiful mix of historical and modern dance, in which dance couple Dietmar Hoekman and Hilda Wolbers of ‘t Aol Volk and break dancer A.J. bridge decades of dance history in their own unique style.

Birthday square

It’s the King’s birthday. And that must be celebrated. Yet there are other people too who have something to celebrate on 27 April 2024. For example, other birthday parties, Emmen residents who received a ribbon, Prince and Princess Carnival, the student association, the Emmen entrepreneur of the year and other prize winners, including Pieter Koolwijk, writer of the Children’s Book Week gift 2024.

As far as we are concerned, they are celebrating the King’s birthday with us! No fewer than 250 birthday guests will be sitting on a large terrace enjoying a local snack and drink.

Every birthday party needs music of course. The Royal family will walk through the audience to a performance by Jannes, the King of pirates. As he sings: For those who don’t know me yet, I’m a true Drent. During the performance, a special place has been reserved for “Club Onbeperkt” (Club Unlimited): going out for people aged 16 and over with an intellectual disability.

Culture square

The site of the old zoo is now Rensenpark. This is the place for art, culture and innovation. For King’s Day, the whole of Emmen has made ‘doodles’ (small drawings), which are on display throughout the city. At the entrance to Rensenpark, you will find a glass wall on which young people are doodling. After a warm welcome by Marjory Hospers of the Centre for Visual Arts, the Royal family is challenged to make a creative contribution.

Here we will also reveal the name of the new space for visual arts. The Centre for Visual Arts Emmen (CBK) is located in the old zoo, on the very spot where sharks swam until 2016. After the unveiling, people will discover a ground-breaking performance by dance company X-Yusuf-Boss, the young theatre makers from Loods13 and alto-mezzo Carina Vinke. A merger of disciplines that reflects Emmen’s hands-on mentality. A unique northern collaboration that you don’t want to miss out on!

Game square

Time for action. Qmusic DJ Jorien Renkema and Radio 538 DJ Jordi Warners are the presenters of an interactive game about the region. The teams consist of children from the children’s councils and the children’s municipal council and children from groups 7 and 8 from various schools. The teams have to guess what is being depicted. The winner wins eternal Emmen glory. Of course, the Royal family is very much invited to participate and show what they know about Emmen and Drenthe.

Innovation square

Emmen is a city of innovation and a world leader in the field of circular plastics. In Emmen, we are looking for ways to reuse plastics and for biobased raw materials to turn into plastic. We do this together with the business community and the educational sector (medium and higher professional education and university education).

Students and the lecturer of the plastics professorship at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will welcome the King and his entourage in the square in front of the town hall. This square will be transformed into a beautiful flower meadow with more than a thousand 3D-printed flowers made from circular plastics. They’ll give a brief introduction and talk about our contribution to the major global plastic issue.

Sports square

The Netherlands is a football country. And Emmen is a football city. The beautiful game connects everyone in the city. From the walking football team to the G-team. On our football pitch, Emmen shows what is happening in the field of football. Anyone who wants can participate in a penalty shoot-out. But that’s not all. Emmen also plays handball at the highest level. And Elly Mensen, Emmen’s world champion shuffleboard, also gives a demonstration. Old Dutch silliness? For your information, shuffleboard is an elite sport and a contemporary game. See Elly make her moves.

In addition, there’ll be various demonstrations by spectacular athletes from the city, talents from acrobatic gymnastics, for example. Race runners and trial bikers will be showing their skills at the skating rink.

The Royal family will be introduced to the successful Emmen neighbourhood concept: the gaming container. There are large shipping containers in several neighbourhoods, full of sports and games equipment. Here, neighbourhood sports coaches and welfare workers organise various activities to help Emmen exercise more. And above all: exercise together.

Wildlands and the Atlas Theatre

Wildlands is the pride of Emmen. For almost 90 years, the city has had one of the most beautiful zoos in Europe, right in the town centre. Together with the Atlas Theatre, Wildlands is a place for relaxation, inspiration, education and entertainment in Emmen. Of course, the Royal family will visit this city’s showpiece.

They will be welcomed with a surprising programme that’s in keeping with the tradition of Wildlands and the Atlas Theatre.

Square Raadhuisplein becomes sing-along square

The big smash is a grand sing-along. This will be in full swing as the King walks from Wildlands to the square Raadhuisplein. King’s Day in Emmen wouldn’t be complete without a performance by Drenthe’s pride Daniël Lohues.

He will perform with a band especially for this occasion. This is the end of the walk. After a word of thanks from the Mayor, His Majesty the King will take to the floor.

This will prompt conductor Reinout Douma of the North Pole Orchestra to take to the rostrum to lead the Dutch national anthem of Wilhelmus as the grand closing piece, sung by Rosa da Silva and an occasional choir led by Rineke Marwitz. Of course, the audience will sing along. After which the Royal family will leave the stage and the city. But for Emmen, the party will only have just begun.

Come to Emmen

The next six weeks until King’s Day will be all about the final preparations and finishing touches. “I would say, come to Emmen. Feast your eyes and ears along the route. There’s so much to see and experience,” Mayor Van Oosterhout looks ahead.

“And even after the Royal party has left, we still have a very attractive music and party programme waiting for you. King’s Day makes us proud and thanks to our solidarity, we are all able to offer the King a fantastic birthday party.”

Source: https://koningsdaginemmen.nl/en/emmen-rolls-out-the-orange-carpet-for-the-kings-birthday/

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