Sinterklaas arrives in fictional village of Zwalk
The arrival of Sinterklaas had been shrouded in mystery this year, as the location had been kept secret. The appearance ended up taking place in a fictional village named Zwalk.
To avoid large crowds, the disembarkation this year was celebrated without a live audience. Instead, the public has been urged to follow the event digitally.
The arrival of Sinterklaas was broadcasted live on NPO3 at noon on Saturday. In reality, the happening had been recorded in October in Spakenburg, a town in the province Utrecht. This all happened in deep secrecy to keep it from the public. The decision to cancel a live event had been made early on to ensure the safety of the actor who plays the Saint and because of restrictions set out by the Dutch government.
TV presenter, Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, assumed the role of Mayor of Zwalk. He joked, saying that the event will “really put Zwalk on the map.” Social media showed positive reactions to the decision. Among other things, it had been dubbed a “masterly move” to make the appearance inaccessible to the public.
In an episode of the Sinterklaas news, a special program covering all stories related to the Sinterklaas festivities, the fictional village of Zwalk had been mentioned on Monday. Later in the week, many more locations were discussed, as dozens of mayors reported that they would be happy to host the Saint in their municipalities. This added to the speculation during the past week.