Come summer, Amsterdam Zuidoost is transformed magically into a wonderland of vibrant colors and as such the place to be in during the bright season. And the one event that contributes most of the color is the Kwaku Summer Festival, known formerly as Kwakoe Festival. This vibrant festival returns every year to Bijlmerpark and last continuously through four weekends of multicultural celebrations beginning from July 13 to August 4, 2013.
In fact the Kwaku Festival is considered to be the largest ever multicultural festival that takes place in the Netherlands. It is celebrated every Saturday as well as Sunday, lasts from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening, during the summer months of July and August. It is held in the Bijlmerpark, a well-known landmark of southeast Amsterdam. For six heady weekends long, the organization that conducts the festival provides a highly extensive program that consists of (live) movies, music, dancing, sports, food, and meetings as also information. The Festival takes on a different theme each year and this distinct theme is clearly reflected performances, music, literature, art, along with several elections.
Kwaku: a people’s festival
This year this inimitable festival is going into the 37th edition, as a time-honored multicultural congregation with its focus on drawing diverse people and their unique cultures together for bring about a dynamic blend of dance, music, food, drink, and sport. The origins of the Kwaku Festival can be traced to the celebration of the ending of slavery in the Dutch colonies of the Dutch Antilles and Suriname on July 1, 1863. The name of the festival said to be derived from the statue erected in order to honor that historic event.
Kwaku Festival: Something for everyone
This distinctive cultural and ethnic festival usually draws nearly 300,000 visitors during the course four consecutive weekends, transforming it into one of the largest events on Amsterdam’s calendar. Every weekend, the center of attraction is the bigger stages, making available a fun feast of live music, DJs as also dance workshops. During the festival there is traditionally a huge Caribbean bazaar as well as an area catered solely for all the younger visitors, including a lot of family-friendly entertainment through the whole day.
Football and delicious food
One of the major attractions of the Kwaku Summer Festival is its vast array of street vendors selling various items of food, and many of these culinary delicacies are found only at the time of this regular annual event. From succulent ribs soaked in exotic Sauce Surinamese, to zesty Korean tacos which can make your tongue really tingle, or stalls that are right out of Africa and the Middle East, you are sure to discover delicious dishes from all around the world.
Another major constituent of the program of this exciting summer festival is the Kwaku Cup which is something that attracts numerous football teams from many nationalities as well as ages. These teams compete intensely all through the festival to win the much coveted trophy. The great thing about all this is the fact that literally anyone is free to form a team and join the fray!
There are many who take part in this unique festival every year without fail, as they feel that it is the experience of a lifetime, repeated every year. A minimal 2.50 Euros is charged as entrance fee for the Kawaka Festival and it is always wise to carry some extra cash to indulge in a meal or two as well as in the many other attractions that are to be found there. For more information, you can visit the Kawaka Festival website.