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Throughout the year there is an interesting and full calendar of events that take place in Ypres itself and in the surrounding region. Many focus on Military Ceremonies that take place on particular anniversaries. They are usually well attended by servicemen and the families and friends of those who have been affected by the different conflicts.
If you want to find out what is taking place during your specific travel dates it is probably best to visit the local tourist office who will be able to provide more detailed and specific information.
Top Ypres events
Cats Parade - This event takes place every 3 years and is held on the second Sunday in May. There is a cat parade, gigantic models of famous cat characters, such as Garfield, and a climax that involved throwing toy cats from the top of the belfry.
Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally - Since 1965 this rally has taken place and is one of the most famous rallies in the European Rally Championship and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Some of the best known names in rallying have taken part over the years including Colin McRae, Juha Kankkunem and Francois Duval.
100km of Ypres Walk - This is a three day event when you get to explore the history of the area along with the sheer beauty of the countryside, with picnics and barbecues organised for you on the way.
Canoe Polo Tournament - Teams travel from all over Europe to compete in this annual tournament.
Ieper Hard Core Fest - If you like rock music then along with a hard core audience from around the rest of Europe you are sure to enjoy this event.
A number of events take place in Ypres to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day in 1918:
St George’s Church Remembrance Day Service - An early morning service that is so popular that you need to get tickets beforehand from the church.
Poppy Parade - This is open to everyone and takes its inspiration from the poem ‘in Flanders field’. Everyone carries a poppy petal and carries it from the Cathedral to the Menin Gate. All are then collected in baskets and during the ceremony the petals are released from the roof of the Menin Gate.
Concert - In St Martin’s Cathedral there is a nostalgic concert by bands, choirs and buglers of the last post.
Christmas Market - The market square is turned into a winter wonderland with Swiss style chalets, an ice-rink and an abundance of delicious warming Christmas fair.