Hopping Happening Harlingen

For such a calm-looking town, who would’ve guessed it would be so crazy!

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Amazingly, the impromptu Saturday when we decided to drop by Harlingen turned out to be packed with entertainment, from bands to orchestras, geriatric choirs to transgender baton twirlers. They were practically in every corner you couldn’t wave a stick without hitting one. By sheer coincidence we were in Harlingen at the same time as the Straatfestival Harlingen — now how lucky was that!

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It was my first time ever in Friesland, in the northern part of the country, and what an introduction. The town was larger than I imagined it would be, and even if there were a lot of people for the festival, it didn’t feel crowded or unmanageable. I could feel everyone was having a good time, and successfully at that. With stilt-walkers, magicians, and portrait artists in costume, for a moment there I felt like I was in Main Street at Disney. It was so well-planned that even the weather tried cooperating.

With Pet and Heather wanting to grab some time away from work (and on a Saturday at that!), we couldn’t help but stop several times along the busy shopping street to grab a drink or two while enjoying the free entertainment.

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If there was one notable thing that caught my attention while walking around, it would be the lack of people of color — it was easily the whitest and blondest part of the Netherlands I’d been to yet. Reminded me a lot of Scandinavia and felt refreshing in a way. I imagine this is probably what Amsterdam would be like if they had curbed immigration. A White Christmas would have more than its normal meaning over there.

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