Antwerp’s Sinksenfoor moves to Borgerhout

Summary

Antwerp’s annual summer fair will move from the Zuiderdok neighbourhood to Borgerhout for at least three years

Vendors and neighbours complaining

Beginning in the summer of 2015, Belgium’s largest fair, the Sinksenfoor in Antwerp, will be located along the de Singel motorway in the Borgerhout district instead of at its traditional home along the docks. The month-long fair has been the source of much controversy since residents living in Zuiderdok filed a complaint last year against the fair as a public nuisance.

The city said that the fair, which dates back to the 13th century, will be located at the new site for at least three years. The city reached an agreement this week with the NMBS to use the former railway site Spoor Oost, which currently sits empty. The fair will this year be at the traditional site on the docks.

Neither the vendors of the fair nor the neighbours of the new site are happy about the decision. “We are rejecting the proposal,” Guillame Borremans of the vendors’ association VDBF told VRT. “First, there are no guarantees that this is a long-term solution, and we cannot build up relationships with suppliers if we have to move every few years. Second, we are in principle against compromises between cities and complainants because it sets a dangerous precedent for getting rid of fairs everywhere.”

A spokesperson for the neighbourhood’s association, meanwhile, said that it would “tax the neighbourhood with noise, light, crowds and traffic. We don’t want that”.