The vast majority of shops in the centre of Groningen will be closed on King’s Day, 27 April.
By Hans de Preter / Translation by Traci White
Security forces have recommended that shops close during the national holiday due to expected high visitor turn out to see King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima in the city.
The king visits a different Dutch city or town each year to celebrate his birthday, and Groningen is hosting the monarch in 2018. The city was likely chosen due to the ongoing induced earthquakes in the province.
According to Dagblad van het Noorden, the King’s Day festivities on Thursday and Friday will bring many visitors to the city who will be here to party, not to go shopping. Popular stores like Zara and C&A will be closed, as will most of the shops on the Herestraat,, according the Joke Fokkema of the Herestraat Retailers Association.
Many shops had no choice but to close for the day: retailers had already been instructed to close between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. when the royal family would be touring the city in order to guarantee their safety.