Entertainment in Wageningen
From this Friday to Sunday you can have your first encounter with one of the festivals organised by the town of Wageningen, The Rhinetown Jazz Festival. In the past mainly Dixieland was played in the streets and the bars of Wageningen, but this year the organisers have broadened the scope. On Friday evening the festival starts with a 'kroegentocht' (pub crawl) with a band playing in each Wageningen bar or cafe; on Saturday there is a street parade in the centre of Wageningen, and on Sunday there will be a gospel church service in the Grote Kerk on the market square.
The most important festival in Wageningen is the celebration of the declaration of liberation signed by the Germans and the Western Allies in Hotel de Wereld on 5 May 1945. Each anniversary of this historic event ('vijf mei') war veterans parade past the Dutch Prince Bernhard, while in other parts of the town centre several stages offer blues, rock, world music, and lots more. Some eighty thousand people visit Wageningen on this day, and the atmosphere is always cheerful and peaceful.
On the third weekend of January the Wageningen Blues Festival takes place in most bars of the city.
Wageningen has a relatively quiet nightlife. Most bars in the centre of the town close at one in the morning on weekdays and at two at the weekends. The 'night cafes' Het Gat, De Vrijheid, Caf? Peer en De Tijd let you stay on until four in the morning if you enter before one thirty. In Het Gat and De Vrijheid there is often live music, as well as in the Dutch student clubs. Also watch for the announcements of the International Club which organises special weekend parties for international students.
Some night activities attract the whole spectrum of non-native Wageningen. The Caribbean Nights in cafe Het Gat on the Herenstraat will warm you up in the tropical atmosphere, even during the cold and wet Dutch winter nights. And the lessons in salsa and other Latin American dances in cafe De Vrijheid, opposite Hotel de Wereld, will loosen your hips. Redi Doti, the Surinamese student organisation, also organizes tropical parties with music, food and beverages from Surinam.
For a town lacking in nightlife Wageningen has a lot of bars and restaurants. For a soda, a special beer, a cappuccino or a Dutch jenever, bars on the market place and in the Herenstraat have plenty to offer. In the vicinity of these bars you can also eat Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Surinamese or Indian food. Remember that the food always is adjusted to Dutch tastes, with lots of meat and only moderately spicy. For the quick snack there is always a snack-bar ('friettent') in your neighbourhood.
If you have mastered Dutch and want to know more about Wageningen night life you may want to surf the site www.wageningen.org, where most bars and restaurants of Wageningen are linked.
Most theatre performances and cabarets shown in the theatres Junushoff and 't Hemeltje are in Dutch. Films from all over the world are shown at Movie W (www.ddsw.nl/moview) on the top floor of Hotel de Wereld, no blockbusters but more alternative films from India to Chili, from the Ukraine to Ghana. The real Hollywood blockbusters are shown in Ede, on the mega screens of Cinemec (www.cinemec.nl), the smaller Hollywood productions play in the cosier Molenstraattheater in the Molenstraat (www. molenstraattheater.nl).
One of the few places in Wageningen where you will find the visual arts is gallery Het Dijkstoelhuis opposite the Wageningen harbour on top of the dyke, open at weekends.