Royal Family to spend King's Day in Groningen: what to expect

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princesses Amalia, Ariane and Alexia arrive in Zwolle for the King's Day 2016 festivities (Photo: Koninklijk Huis)King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princesses Amalia, Ariane and Alexia arrive in Zwolle for the King's Day 2016 festivities (Photo: Koninklijk Huis)

King Willem-Alexander and his family will spend King's Day in Groningen on Friday. The weather is expected to be largely cloudy and relatively cold with afternoon temperatures around 15 to 16 degrees. No rain is expected, but a jacket is advised, according to Weeronline.

The Royals will arrive on Prinsenhof at 11:00 a.m., where mayor Peter den Oudsten and commissioner of the King Rene Paas will receive them, according to Dagblad van het Noorden. Then they will proceed to Martinikerkhof, where children's mayor Javano Zwiers and deputy children's mayor Roselyn Martina will present "their" Groningen to the King. At the Martinikerk there will be performances by the Noord Nederlands Orchestra and dance group Club Guy & Roni, against the backdrop of a large artwork by David LaChapelle from the Groninger Museum.

At the Grote Markt mayor Albert Rodenboog of Loppersum will tell the Royals about the gas extraction earthquake problems the province faces and the Royal Family will meet a number of the victims. On Waagplein socially involved Groningen residents will present social initiatives during a catwalk show. On Boteringestraat, between Waagplein and Broerplein, the Royal Family will walk through a street full of dancing Groningen residents and bands from the Groningen pop culture.

At Broerplein the Royals will be introduced to Groningen Top Sports, with students presenting an interactive sport setting. On Stoeldraaierstraat internet entrepreneur Ben Woldring will give the Royals insights into the region where young and innovative companies, and large international players are settling. 

The King and his family will finish their tour of Groningen on Vismarkt at around 2:00 p.m. There singer-songwriter Arnold Veeman from Kloosterburen will sing 'Mien Grunneger stad', accompanied by the Noordpool Orchestra and several Groningen guest artists. 

The Royal procession will affect traffic in a large part of Groningen city center. From 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, no bicycles will be allowed to park in the city center, and from 7:00 p.m. no cars or motorcycles will be allowed to enter. Additional bike racks will be placed along the outskirts of the city center, with multiple signs pointing towards them, according to GIC. 

On Thursday and Friday, 17 bus lines in Groningen and Drenthe will run all night at Koningsgracht. Q-link and Qliner lines from Groningen to Leek, Roden, Annen, Delfzijl, Emmen, Drachten, Assen and Stadskanaal will run at least twice per hour. Qbuzz and Arriva buses will also run more often and for longer on King's Day.

On Friday NS will run according to a special Oranje timetable, using extra and longer trains on various routes, reports. Travelers can purchase an Oranje tour ticket online until 2:00 p.m. on Friday, with a 20 percent King's Day discount.