Rotterdam reveals full King's Day 2023 program: Dancing, circus acts, football tricks
Rotterdam has a massive celebration planned for King Willem-Alexander and everyone else attending King’s Day in the city. Entertainment on the route the Royals will be walking includes a “swinging spectacle” of dancing, circus acts, football tricks, and a block party, the city announced on Thursday.
“Together with the city, we have created a wonderful program for the Royal Family. And, of course, for everyone who comes to celebrate this day in Rotterdam,” Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said. The city again stressed the theme of the celebration - We are all Kings & Queens. “A crown fits on every head!”
The Royal Family’s route will start at 11:00 a.m. on the Afrikaanderplein. The royals will be welcomed with the song Lang zal hij leven, sung by a choir consisting of members of various Rotterdam choirs. Mayor Aboutaleb, King’s Commissioner Jaap Smit, and children’s mayor Louey Zerourou will welcome the royals, along with 50 children from five schools in the neighborhood. The royals will also have a digital meeting with children from the Sophia Children’s Hospital.
The next step is a “swinging spectacle” on Pretorialaan. “Different cultures and nationalities melt together with a mix of Surinamese kotomisi, Hindustani dancers, Moroccan folkloric percussionists, belly dancing, and salsa.” After the street party, Willem-Alexander and his family will get to meet a terrace full of resilient Rotterdammmers, each with their own story.
Next, the Royals will be dazzled by acrobatic tricks performed by students of Circus Rotjeknor and the 20 acrobats of the renowned Compagnie XY. A bit further along, world-famous street footballer Soufiane Touzani, and other talents from FC Straat, will show the Royals their skills on a gigantic street football field at the intersection of the Maashaven.
Singer Gledna Peters, originally from Suriname, will close the southern part of the visit with the song Rotterdam, an ode to the city where she found her new home.
The next part of the route will happen by water taxi across the Maas. Here the Royals will be surrounded by a variety of ships, including one-person youth sailboats, sustainable and innovative ships, air defense frigate Sr. MS De Ruyter, and the ss Rotterdam.
The party will sail under the Erasmus Bridge and moor at the bottom of Plein 1940, where the third part of the route starts at the memorial monument ‘The Destroyed City.’ The statue forms the backdrop of a performance by spoken word artists Ivan Words and Tyler Koudijzer, accompanied by the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy and a dance by the Scapino Ballet.
Next up is a block party on Blaak to the well-known sounds of I Will Survive performed by the Hermes House Band. Music and sports are central to the Blaak, which will be shown off by beatboxers, street basketball players, and youth players from the three Rotterdam football clubs - Feyenoord, Sparta, and Excelsior. “There will also be demonstrations by the young Amira Tahri, world champion kickboxing, free runner Onur Eren and world-breaking champions Menno van Gorp and India Sardjoe.”
The route then goes via the Ds. Jan Scharpstraat through the Martkhal to the closing party on the Binerotte. Well-known acts from the Rotterdam region will take the stage, including Davina Michelle, Ronnie Flex, and Lee Towers. On stage, King Willem-Alexander and his family will say goodbye to the Rotterdam Public. “But the festivities will continue in the city,” with various performances on the square and in many other places until 5:00 p.m.
The Royal route consists of a 1-kilometer walk and the river crossing. The route will be covered in about two hours and broadcast live by NOS.
Rotterdam wanted to ensure that as many of its residents as possible could participate in the King’s Day celebration. Therefore, it also organized ten days of anticipation and a festive “day after.” The King’s Day Concert marks the start of the city program on April 19. Other events include an exhibition in the Maastunnel, a Kings & Queens “pop-up” schoolyard tour, and a culinary campaign with a call to make the Rotterdam’s king’s dish.
“On King’s Day, but also in the run-up to it, Rotterdam will show what the host city stands for: a colorful, international port city, built by people from all over the world.”