Some 40,000 attended King's Day in Maastricht; No major incidents
About 40,000 people attended King's Day in Maastricht on Wednesday. According to mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake, it was so crowded that the Vrijthof had to be closed just after noon. The police did not have to respond to any "noteworthy incidents" during King Willem-Alexander's visit to the city. "It was one big party," a police spokesperson said.
"I loved it," said Penn-te Strake. "Especially that feeling of togetherness. I hope we can hold on to this. Because without it, we run great risks. We have examples of that in Europe." The mayor accompanied the Royal family on their tour through a sun-drenched city center in Maastricht.
"There was a lot of music. We wanted that," Penn-te Strake said. "Because Maastricht is a city of music. It makes your heart beat a little faster. When I was on the podium at the Vrijthof, I saw all those orange-clad people. That says a lot. Especially now with Ukraine. That this is still possible here. It was fantastic to see!"
"We had a very nice day," Penn-te Strake summed up.
At the start of the route, several dozen republicans demonstrated against the monarchy. "The King then just arrived at a bar with an Elske (a drink from Limburg). He made a toast to the demonstrators, like: I see you. That is the Netherlands, that is allowed here. We had a very nice arranged place for them," the mayor said.
The Royal family left the stage at the Vrijhtof just after 1:00 p.m., accompanied by a performance by Rowwen Heze with their song about Limburg. The party continued without the Oranjes. Terraces were crowded, cafes bulged, partygoers strolled through the bustling streets, and brass bands and other musical groups played here and there.
Reporting by ANP.