Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: "Let’s go to the hops."

Beercyclists, remember: We hope to be there for the parade before riding to Haarlem. There may be brewery visits on both sides of the hop festival ... and it's Luc's final fest before retirement.

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Let’s go to the hops…..triennial hop & beer festival in Poperinge, Belgium.

Already for the 21st time Poperinge, hop metropolis of Belgium, stages its triennial hop festival; hop gardens typify the area since the middle ages and Poperinge still supplies ¾ of the national produce with an acreage of 175 ha and 34 hop growers.

A Hop Museum, completely renewed in 2006, is rightly at its best in Poperinge : the story of the hop plant and its people through the ages and at the pace of the Four Seasons using pictures, audiovisuals, authentic tools, interactive kiosks….

The first hop pageant goes back until 1956 as a kind of harvest fest after the hop picking season but as of 1960 it became a triennial event.

The festival kicks off on Friday September 19th with a twinning beer fest in the 1200 m2 marquee where Bavarian styled music, long rows of tables and benches and 0,5l beer tankards set the pace…one would think he is in M√ľnich !

In that same marquee is the hop queen election on Saturday, September 20th where a number of trios of young girls compete through a series of theoretical and practical tests for the title of hop queen and maids of honour to act as real ambassadresses of their home town for the next 3 years.

Highlight is of course Sunday September 21st.

The Hop Museum is open as of 10 a.m. where you discover the wonderful world of hops. The temporary exhibition gives a survey of half a century of Hop Festival. As hops are mainly used as natural preservative and flavouring in the brewing process the hop tour digests over a local brew in the inner yard of the museum where hop pickers in traditional outfit demonstrate how hops were formerly picked by hand.

At 3 p.m. a whirling and colourful parade winds through the centre with 70 groups, 1200 characters, 15 floats and 7 bands, a truly creative masterpiece with 5 distinct parts : origin of the hop plant, cycle of activities, hop harvest, hop processing and hops triumph in the world.
Immediately after the parade, there is beer galore in the marquee and The Vicious support national stars live on stage in the square such as Geena Lisa, Raf Van Brussel…..

Fireworks at 9 p.m. finish this festive weekend.

Book your “Day at the Hopfest” now through the Tourist Board for a mere 45 Euros pp. including: entrance to the Hop Museum and the parade, lunch, reserved seat on the stand, explanatory brochure and 0,5l tankard in the marquee.

Tourist Office Poperinge
phone ++ 32 (0)57 34 66 76
fax ++ 32 (0)57 33 57 03
toerisme@poperinge.be
http://www.hopfeesten.be/

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