'Tis the season for public spaces
The holiday season is in full swing! People are re-painting their houses, putting up festive lights, and buying Christmas trees. Arriving planes are filled with family and friends returning home for the holidays and tourists seeking to escape the freezing temperatures back home.
During this time of the year, our public spaces take center stage. Almost overnight they are decked out with holiday ornaments, bright lights, and festivities. Similar to families decorating their homes, so too cities decorate their public spaces to welcome the holidays.
Below are some ways the city transforms its public areas to really come alive during this time of the year.
Lights, music, and activities in Punda
The Wilhelminapark in Punda turns into a delightfully lit and decorated park during the holiday season. With activities such as the Punda Christmas Fair, family Christmas movie night, and musical performances, this park attracts a larger crowd than usual. The friendly Santa Claus perched at the edge invites visitors to take photos of their sunny holidays. In other parts of Punda, the streets become a host for holiday parades, arts & crafts fairs, vendors selling Christmas drinks and snacks, and beautifully adorned Christmas trees.
Christmas Fair Pietermaai
This Christmas Fair in the Pietermaai district welcomes local vendors to sell hand-made products, drinks, and food. Visitors stroll through the fair in search of the perfect holiday gift or to simply enjoy the atmosphere. The vibrant Nieuwestraat closes down its street for cars to give more space for pedestrians and vendors, reminding us that streets should more often put people before cars.
Hello Skálo Christmas Village at Skalo Bay
Located along the waterfront of Waaigat, Skalo Bay hosts its annual Christmas Village. An event filled with food, music, and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can join painting workshops, come meet friends for a drink, and shop at the various vendors.
New Year Celebrations at Brionplein and on the Queen Emma Bridge
Large crowds gather on New Year’s Eve at Brionplein and the Queen Emma Bridge. Friends, families, and visitors bring their champagne bottles, chairs, and positive spirits to welcome the new year together. Music, performances, firework shows, and great views of the city make this the most popular place for locals to gather to ring in the new year.
The importance of having attractive public spaces throughout the city is highlighted during these celebratory times. All these public spaces have in common that they attract people, add liveliness to the area, and enhance the community feeling. Let’s try to use our public spaces more often throughout the year, not only during the holidays. Where are you ringing in the new year?