Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Pet some sheep, have an organic vegan wrap and watch a steampunk band!
Sunday the 21st was the annual sheep shearing festival at the Averegten.
Averegten is a provincial, in this case Antwerp, domain that is essentially a “wandelbos”. Which means it's a small wood, with a lot of walking trails throughout it.
There's also a petting zoo, which is not much to write home about and a bunch of fields with sheep and horses. There's a bunch of small(ish) ponds and crooks, so you can find your standard wildlife there such as squirrels, bees, toads, frogs, etc. Even the occasional adder/viper if you're lucky around the water.
Once a year, however, they shear the sheep and put up this little festival with live entertainment (which may or not be called actual music because the performers are often in various states of intoxicated),
some shops (mostly set up by local charity and wildlife causes), food trucks
and drinks stands (alcohol seems to be the most popular beverage though).
It may sound like a drunken shambles, but it's really not, it's mostly just families sitting around having a good time.
I like to go there for the organic vegan food truck and have their middle eastern wrap.
Bert and I are not vegans, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy vegan foods. And that wrap is REALLY good, so yeah,
They also had a traditional sheep herder with some of his sheep on the field, so people could pet them. The sheep were well annoyed, because it was warm and they hadn't been sheared yet. But aside form that they were really sociable. I was petting one of them (and had been for a good while, she literally stuck her head in my hand and demanded attention haha) when my inlaws showed up and offered to buy us drinks. Which was really nice of them.
The sheep gave me a lot of stink eye when I left, but I'm sure there were plenty of people happy to pet her around. We ended up sitting on the field for a little longer, and I was really glad I had packed sunblock (spf 50 ftw!) or I would have been so sunburned. I kinda wish I had brought my parasol, but those are really hard to pack on a bike, so yeah.
Whilst we were sitting there, of all things to find in this town, a STEAMPUNK band came on. I was convinced I had suddenly ended up in some kind of alternative dimension. Pan de Capazo was definitely entertaining. They reminded me a little of The Steampunk Stompers, but the Stompers are definitely the better band.
Regardless, it was a pretty good show and I enjoyed listening to their songs.
I wrote a review of their concert here on The Gatehouse.
Just on a side note: this is a cruelty free festival.
Even though it's sort of commercial I guess, they really know what they are doing with the shearing, and no sheep actually get hurt. I'm sure some find the entire thing stressful, but other than that, they aren't getting mutilated in any way, they are literally getting sheared carefully and that's that. I'm not going to say a particularly fidgetty sheep doesn't get nicked, but the people shearing them really seem to know what they are doing, and I didn't see any sheared sheep around with wounds at all. They all seemed to be very pleased to be rid of all the wool they were carrying to be honest.
Like I said before, it's a harmless family oriented little festival that is generally really fun.
For more events, steampunk or food related post, check out the links right at the bottom of this blog. Or click the ones in the previous sentence to go to my old blog!