The city centre of Leeuwarden will be virtually entirely closed to traffic – including bikes – during the three days of the Royal de Luxe marionette performance in the city.
Translation by Traci White
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the city is anticipating around 400,000 visitors to attend the three-day-long performance, which is one of the biggest events of the LF2018 Capital of Culture year in terms of spectators and marionettes themselves.
The route that the three giants – the diver, the girl and Xolo the dog – will take through the city will be officially announced on Friday, but many streets across the city are already being prepared for the performance next week with barriers springing up and street decorations being taken down. With the exception of vehicles with handicap parking passes, most of city will be closed to traffic between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. during the days of the performance.
People are being encouraged to travel on public transport to reach the city, and there will be a special “giants time table” for trains and buses coming to Leeuwarden. There will be more buses than usual, but they will be rerouted. There will also be longer trains to accommodate more passengers.
Regional transport company Arriva will use shuttle buses to bring visitors from three massive temporary car parks with space for 14,000 vehicles into the city. There will be around 40 shuttle buses operating every hour, and they will run until 10 p.m. on Friday, 11 p.m. on Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Biking through the city will not be an option during at least part of the performances, either: from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday, the streets will also be closed to cyclists. Twelve parking garages have been set up around the city centre for visitors travelling to the city by bike.
The three characters will be acting out a piece called “Big Skate in the Ice” over the course of three days starting on 17 August. The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the story was created specifically for Leeuwarden and Friesland, and is inspired by the famous Elfstedentocht ice skating race.