Welcome to ‘Kruikenstad’, Tilburg during carnival. The south of the Netherlands is famous for carnival and Tilburg plays a prominent part in this tradition. Lasting until Tuesday, March 5th, you can dress up and take on ‘Kruikenstad’.
What you should know
There are some general things you should know. First things first: don’t say you live in Tilburg during the next couple of days. You live in ‘Kruikenstad’. And if you live in Tilburg you are a ‘kruikenzeiker’. You will see a lot of orange-green scarfs and if you are wondering whether you are missing a trend, the answer is yes. During carnival, these scarfs are a way of representing your city. Each city has its own colors. So, if you want to show your connection with Tilburg, you should go get a scarf. They can be bought all over the city and even at some grocery stores. During carnival, you can pay with Tilburg’s very own currency, the ‘Kruikenmunt’. They can be bought in stations all over the city center and cost € 2,60. You can use them in more than 50 cafes and even some taxis until March 10th.
What to do
You will probably not recognize Tilburg. Carnival is immensely popular here, so there are loads of activities to partake in. Here is a little selection. From Friday until Tuesday the Piusplein will transform into a giant party with a live DJ playing all the carnival hits. But it’s not just there that you can celebrate, you can pretty much walk in any bar and café and just party along. Quite famous is the ‘Kroegendwèèltocht’ on Friday from 7pm until 2am. Here you join the masses and go from bar to bar. At the beginning, you ask for a paper tie and at each bar they will stamp it for you. When the tie is full you can exchange the paper tie for a real tie. And last but not least, there is the parade. The parade will take place on Sunday in the city center, where you can look at all the extravagant carnival floats.
A couple of tips
Traditionally, people celebrate carnival for five days on row. However, if you have never celebrated carnival before you might want to take it slow, as it is quite intense. If you come by bike it is a good idea to put your bike in the bike garage under the Heuvel. It is the safest place and you probably have the best chance of finding your bike again after a night of partying. Another thing: we are talking about carnival, so don’t even think about not dressing up. There is a big pop-up store on the Heuvel where you can find all the costumes in the world. There is something for everybody. And finally: if there is a conga line coming past you, you must join. No excuses here. Alaaf!