What can you do on and around the base camps?
We can not give away everything at this moment but count on it that you will never get bored in this week!
If you go for the full program then you first have to expect some special days in Leopoldsburg. In addition to a visit to the charming city center, you can immediately look at the location where the start of the Operation was given in 1944. Unfortunately, the original building is no longer there, but still a special place to stay. Leopoldsburg will organize a major music event and Liberty Ball in the center of the city. A Big Band and a British Market complete the atmosphere. The city and many of its residents will also be dressed in the 1940’s style. In our camp you are within walking distance of this event. And with your OMG card you get a discount on every event organized there. There will also be a large theater spectacle called ‘De Groote Rappel II’ in which, besides the spirit of the times, humor and entourage are of a high level. Especially for us, a separate show will be given (also with a discount!). You can also visit a Sunset air show with historic aircraft at the Airoclub Sanicole. It is open on Friday and transport will be organized centrally from the center. With reservations, plans are made for a short but adventurous tour in a military atmosphere including a snack. And of course, while enjoying a pint of all that Leopoldsburg has to offer that weekend, how nice do you want to start the week?
After an impressive ride over as much as possible the original route through Lommel, Valkenswaard, Eindhoven, and Son you arrive on Saturday in the afternoon at the basecamp you booked. On the camp you are on (walking distance from) historic land, where history has taken its course. You will be assigned a place where you can show your display and / or vehicle to the general public. If the event budget permits, we will take care of a warm bite so that you will be taken care of the first day after the long route Zuid. You will continue to register (if you haven’t already done so in Leopoldsburg) at the locally communicated times, which will in any case go smoothly this time, and you will immediately receive the route magazine in which the more extensive weekly program will be included.
You will also run out of time on the camps in the Netherlands. On Sunday, the public is expected to come in large numbers to come see what you have to offer vehicles and material. Make sure you are in style and remain of the Spirit of 1944, so that we guarantee as much as possible an appropriate historical picture. So clothing and appearance in at least appropriate green or in accordance with the association to which you are affiliated. During the weekend re-enactment groups will present a beautiful spectacle for participants and audiences, with the aim of organizing a complete battle against ‘the enemy’ (subject to permission) in addition to smaller mock battles. When the evening falls, you can enjoy a hot meal at attractive prices and do not forget to exchange your consumption vouchers when you register. With your buddies and other participants, it is time to exchange the experiences of the first weekend at the cozy bar with music in style.
Monday starts early with the arrival of many elementary school students in groups of about 20 by own guides (something for you? Then sign up via email@example.com) will be guided around the camp. Regular visitors are also welcome. It is the intention that a number of displays will then be fully operational in order to enable the children to become acquainted with the theme “freedom is not self-evident” as part of the education program. Do you want to participate actively in this? Then register at firstname.lastname@example.org stating what your display proposes. Always pay attention to the safety of the children and other visitors by driving on the ground during opening hours and not having activities done by children who are still too young for that.
September 17 you will remember as the official starting date of Operation Market Garden. Traditionally there are official commemorations in neighboring villages and municipalities, which generally have a modest character. Please keep that in mind! Many historic sites are in the vicinity of the base camp, such as Son, where a reconstructed bailey bridge will lie over the canal, but also think of Sint Oedenrode (Castle Henkenshage, Eerde (windmill), Schijndel (landing grounds), Valkenswaard (market) , Grave (bridge), Groesbeek (museum), Heeswijk-Dinther (castle), Uden (British cemetery), Overloon (museum) etc. It is expected that Tuesday afternoon in the vicinity of the basecamps paradroppings (the Market) are to be observed Always spectacular and a ‘must see’. But do not forget the children who visit the base camps because of their education program. Do not disappoint them and provide sufficient operational displays. It would be nice if you make agreements with your supporters or your neighbors who is present, so that the program can run with enough competent guides, and have you ever looked at our real international military market (Veghel / Schijndel) at your leisure? This is the moment! Breaking attribute or part for your hobby just waiting for your bid. After sundown we make a nice atmosphere in the cozy tents and terraces.
On Wednesday the children come to the camp only in the morning hours, after which they sometimes come back in the afternoon with dad, mom or grandmother and grandmother for a visit. Of course, depending on the impressions they have previously gained. On September 18th, Eindhoven was liberated, and it is traditionally there, especially after noon, a busy bunch with the liberation filing and the transfer of the liberation fire from Bayeux. The program there lasts until late in the evening. It is also possible that this day about our camps a fly-past will be seen of historic WW2 aircraft including a real Spitfire. If you do not feel like the hustle and bustle of Eindhoven, perhaps this is the day for the participants to just drive around and enjoy the scenery!
On Thursday, September 19, you will also experience something special. Early in the morning local veteran associations will build their displays and during the day we hope to receive some WW2 veterans by means of organized transport and under the guidance of our veteran coordinator. With tribute and respect we will surround these now highly aged ex-servicemen, and it is expected that their arrival will make this day an absolute highlight. Various music bands will give an appearance to complete the party, and if possible some WW2 veterans will visit some displays from a golf club car. Give them the space and the peace they deserve!
Friday is the last day that the children will visit us from the education program. A nice moment to show one more time what special things we all have at home. Did you know that with your OMG card you can visit a number of regional museums with a 25% discount? It concerns (at this moment) the museum Wings of Liberation at Best, National Monument Camp Vught, War Museum Overloon, and the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek. All are worth it! Do you want to see them all once? Then book a package later via www.visitbrabant.nl because with your OMG pass you can go to May 2020 with a 25% discount on the admission price. Finally, there will be a party night (Veghel / Schijndel base camp) with live performances and various invited guests that day in the evening for the participants and sponsors. Also this one you would not like to miss!
Saturday, September 21, we expect the participants who have specifically registered for route North only, because we will leave early in the morning on Sunday. In addition, this day will also be a very busy public day, because a number of fake battles will be staged by re-enactment groups. We do not rule out that this day may become the busiest day of the week due to the many national and international attention in the (social) media. So make sure that your vehicle and / or display is back in a good shape. You should not dismantle or pack items in connection with your departure on Sunday until the public has left the camps safely. After all, it is not fun to visit a camp that is no longer complete and from which the participants withdraw from the public. Hang on a little longer!
When we have started our vehicles on Sunday for the start of route Noord, we will drive a spectacular ride with many viewers along the route in Zeeland, Landerd, Uden, Grave, etc. Alverna, Groesbeek, Berg en Dal, and finally in our finish in Nijmegen. Where we will finish in Nijmegen is not clear at the moment, but this time we aim to organize a Waal Crossing (instead of passage) with original vessels manned by skilled pontonniers. This spectacle will be a worthy conclusion to a week of commemoration, education, experiences and friendships, where we have shown that freedom is not self-evident. In this way we hope to have made a nice contribution to the start of 75 years of liberation in the Netherlands, in co-production with Brabant Remembers (www.BrabantRemembers.nl). Make sure you come back home safely and thank you very much for your participation!