In the next six days Wageningen will be flooded by about 2,000 new students. Starting today, they’ll enjoy fun activities, performances and parties. But is there anything on the Annual Introduction Days menu for older students? Definitely. And especially this weekend.
Street artists performing at the AID street festival in 2016 © Sven Menschel
Large fences surround the festival tent on campus. Erected voluntarily by students primarily to keep other students from entering. ‘No. Whoever isn’t participating in the AID can’t get onto the grounds,’ said volunteer Hilde Brands. ‘But a few activities are open to everyone.’
Spot the gadget
On Friday, the brand-new students will be in Wageningen and on campus. ‘The mentors of each group have bought recognisable gadgets for their ‘children’, Hilde explained. That means that the new first-year students will be wandering through Wageningen with their AID bags and a strange attribute. An amusing sight. A good moment to spot them is between 19.30 and 20.30, when nothing else is planned on the AID programme.
The man with the finger dolls
A street festival in the city centre will begin at 20.00 on Saturday. ‘And Lejo, the man with the finger dolls is back,’ said Hilde enthusiastically. ‘He was super popular these past few years. But there’s much more. A performance by the WSKOV, for example.’
After the festival, you can relax in one of the many cafes in Wageningen. A jazz band will be playing on the square behind the Zaaier. ‘If the weather is nice, the terrace will be busy,’ said barkeeper Janna Fleuren. ‘Which band exactly? No idea. I just know that I have to work.’ Café Rad van Wageningen, that taps its own beer, hasn’t organised anything special for the AID. ‘We’re always very unique in Wageningen,’ said Marina van Baest.
Sunday evening is reserved for another tradition: showing a film outdoors. ‘Everyone is welcome, and this time the film will be projected from Duivendaal,’ Hilde added. The film starts at 20.15, but come earlier if you want a good place to sit (unless it rains). The name of the film is still a secret. Heerenstraat Theater is helping with the selection, but staff member Tom de Bont won’t spoil the surprise. ‘The only thing I can say is that it’s a really great film.’
On Monday and Tuesday there’s not much else to do except spot new students and gadgets. But the non-AID students can participate again on Wednesday, when the information market opens at 13.00 in the Belmonte Arboretum. That’s always enjoyable. At 17.00 a big AID festival will begin on campus with a food corner and performances by student bands and others. All WUR students can buy a ticket to this festival for 5 euros. Tickets are still available. Midnight marks the official end of the festival and of the AID.