What’s on: Car-Free Sunday takes over Flanders and Brussels


The hundreds of activities around the country as city centres free themselves of traffic tops our suggestions for the weekend, while two events are reason enough to spend a day

Car-Free Sunday

This weekend finds Car-Free Sunday popping up in cities and towns across Flanders and in Brussels – where the entire capital region is closed to traffic (except public transport).

Brussels has a wealth of options for spending the day, from a 90-metre-long community brunch table to a Bike Circus to a village-style market on Koningsplein with food trucks, locally made brews and crafts, concerts and activities for kids. In Ghent, the parts of the city centre that aren’t normally closed to cars will be, as will be the B401 viaduct (pictured), which brings traffic into the city from the E40 and E17. The future of the viaduct is being questioned, and you can find out about it on the day. There’s also a go-cart tram in the centre of town and a bike market. A large swath of Antwerp’s city centre is also car-free on Sunday, with a mobility market, flea and antique markets, special walking tours, a veggie picnic in Grote Markt and singers on bicycles. Check your own city’s website to find events near you. 16 September, across Flanders and Brussels

Lekker Westhoeks

If you’re looking for nosh this weekend, you can’t do much better than the Lekker Westhoeks festival, which brings together all of the Westhoek region’s food and drink specialities in Poperinge’s picturesque market square. Hops grow in the Westhoek, so that includes beer, of course, but also gin, cheese, pastries, chocolate, wine and fresh produce. There are food trucks, natch, as well as storytelling, kids’ activities and DJs. 15-16 September, Grote Markt, Poperinge

We Are Made of More Water Than Blood

Muze’um L, located on a hill on the outskirts of Roeselare, was built as an example of what can be done as part of the Light Meridian project. The Light Meridian is an imagined longitudinal line from the North to the South pole at 3°7’45”E. This takes it through Western Africa and a bit of Spain before it crosses France, Belgium and the east of the UK. The idea is to create art projects precisely where this line crosses, connecting countries and municipalities through art.

Muze’um L was built on the Light Meridian and was designed with slits and slants to create patterns with the light as the sun moves through the sky. While it is freely accessible every day, an inner room is open only on Sundays and is home to temporary installations that work with the light. Overijse-based artist AnuschB has created an installation out of hand-blown glass pebbles called “We Are Made of More Water Than Blood” for the space, and the vernissage is this Sunday. 16 September to 2 December, Bergstraat 23, Roeselare

Festival America

America conjures up very different images these days than it did a few years ago. Author Richard Powers (The Echo Maker) has lived in Europe, while Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, The Underground Railroad, is about the country’s sordid past of slavery. An interesting pairing that could bring some perspective to the current situation, this talk is a precursor to the France’s Festival America. In English. 19 September 20.15, Flagey, Heilig-Kruisplein, Brussels

Photo courtesy Gent Autovrij