Sailing heritage in Nijkerk

This year is the thirteenth edition of the Nijkerkse Sleepbootdagen (Nijkerkse Tugboat Days). With eight organization members and a small team of volunteers, we are working hard to make the event a success every year. But where does it actually come from? Who organizes the event? We’re calling Belinda van der Horst, one of the co-organizers.

“My husband and I have a tug of our own. It’s easy to join other enthusiasts when you have one. That’s how we ended up at Vereniging De MotorSleepboot (VDMS). They organize the national tugboat days. Regional tugboat days are also organized by local coordinators, but with the help of the VDMS. They then take care of the registration of the tugs, for example. We were asked to bring this to Nijkerk. We also think it is important that something happens in the Havenkom. It can be an unattractive place at times. There is little recreation and there is simply not much going on.

Above all, we are simply proud of the sailing heritage. That day about 45 tugs will arrive and we want to show them to the public. In the past there was not much interest in sailing heritage in general, but it’s increasing every year. Partly because more and more activities are added.

Friday evening we start with some music. The event will be officially opened on Saturday by the mayor and two special guests. This year these are Gerard van den Tweel and Chris Nieuwpoort. There is plenty to do after the opening. In the first year people could only look at the tugs, but now we also use the terrain around the Havenkom. Here visitors can enjoy all kinds of stalls and there is music and dancing. In addition, the oldtimer club is coming, a blacksmith from Elburg is there and much more. On Saturday there is also the “Musical & Maritime festival” in Nijkerk. One of the stages for this will be located in the Havenkom. Great that this can be combined in this way!

This year it will be extra special. There will be a beautiful boat from the army, namely “Het RijksVaartuig 29”, a former towing and salvage vessel. Visitors are allowed to take a look at this ship.

And this is exactly what makes the event so much fun. There is plenty to do, it is an event for the whole family. Fathers to the boats, mothers to the harbor market and there are also children’s activities. The variation and combination of sailing heritage with what is happening on the quay makes it a unique event.”

More information can be found on the website of the Nijkerkse Sleepbootdagen

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