Gentse Fieste July 14 to 23 2012
Every year there is a big city festival in my hometown Gent
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The festival starts on the Saturday before July 21 (Belgium's national holiday) and lasts ten days
About 2 million visitors attend the festival every year, making it one of the biggest cultural and popular (drinking) festivals in Europe
The last day (always a Monday) is known as de dag van de lege portemonnees (the day of the empty wallets) alluding to the fact that many people have spent their last penny at the festival
The modern day Gentse Feesten were started in the summer of 1969 by Ghent singer Walter De Buck ( Last picture and song ) and the people from the Trefpunt cafe. In the beginning the festival consisted of one stage near the Saint Jacob Church.
Since the late eighties the festival has grown enormously and now covers the whole inner city of Ghent.
Although the festival has become a mass event, it has retained some of the rebellious and anarchistic atmosphere of the early days.
Public drunkenness is very normal and tolerated
The Gentse Feesten was called the third biggest city festival in Europe, only preceded by the Fallas in Valencia and the Oktoberfest in Munich.
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