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Belgian American Days is back — but smaller — this weekend

GHENT — The COVID-19 pandemic left many area communities facing questions about whether summer festivals would still go on. Supporters of Belgian American Days in Ghent still had questions well into the summer, said Ghent City Administrator and Clerk Dawn Vlaminck.

But this week, the plans came together — Belgian American Days will still go on on Saturday, although with a smaller schedule of events.

“We’re hoping it stays a little more local,” with activities like the rolle bolle tournament, softball tournament and car show, Vlaminck said this week. To help allow for social distancing, there won’t be events that draw big crowds, like a parade or street dance.

“I think everyone is pretty understanding of what the situation is,” Vlaminck said. Planners knew relatively early on that there probably wouldn’t be a parade this year, for example. But there was still a chance for some community events to go on. Events like the rolle bolle tournament and the Ghent Cruisers car show are ones that are all “kind of their own entities,” with their own organization, she said. In addition, K.B.’s Bar and Grill will have outdoor seating and there will be an outdoor DJ to provide music, Vlaminck said.

Belgian American Days will be held Saturday, starting out with an 8 a.m. breakfast at K.B.’s Bar and Grill, and the start of the softball tournament. Most events, including the car show, rolle bolle tournament and a bean bag tournament will start at 11 a.m. A Belgian waffle eating contest will be held at 5:30 p.m.

IF YOU GO

(All events are Saturday)

• 8 a.m. — Breakfast at KB’s Bar and Grill; softball tournament begins

• 9 a.m. — Car show registration

• 10 a.m. — Bean bag tournament registration at KB’s Bar and Grill

• 11 a.m. — Ghent Cruisers 14th annual car show and food stand; rolle bolle tournament A&B division format; bean bag tournament begins

• 1 p.m. — Rolle bolle tournament novice division

• 3 p.m. — Car show awards presentation

• 5:30 p.m. — Belgian waffle eating contest

• 6 p.m. — DJ at outdoor stage

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