26 - Special happenings and events

The Noordoostpolder knows many special happenings and events which give the community a social profile. Solidarity, enthusiasm, entrepreneurship and the drive to create a sense of harmony and belonging are the basis of this. Until the late 1980s, the Noordoostpolder didn't have many recurring events. Some of the milestones, such as the 10th and 25th anniversaries of 'dry land', in 1952 and 1967 respectively, were commemorated by big celebrations. Big, recurring events were initiated in later years. StEP, ‘Stichting Evenementen & Promotie Noordoostpolder’ (the Noordoostpolders Events & Promotion Foundation) has been taking an undisputed and very important role in the promotion of the Noordoostpolder and in the organisation of activities and events.

Opening Ketel Bridge

Some of the events had a national importance and helped to put the Noordoostpolder further on the map.

Ketel Bridge, the connection between the Noordoostpolder and eastern Flevoland.   

For instance, the official opening of the new Ketel Bridge over the Ketelmeer between eastern Flevoland and the Noordoostpolder on 15 July 1970, received a lot of attention. The Minister of Economic Affairs at the time, Minister J.A. Bakker lowered the bridge, after which the first cars drove across. On De Deel in Emmeloord 7,000 free servings of chicken were handed to the passing drivers. The bridge, now over forty years old, has been regularly in the news because of a faltering valve. Large renovation work took place in 2012, so the bridge can again be used for many years.


In 1988, Museum Schokland held the newsworthy exposition called 'The Living Corpse'. Four years later, in 1992, a unique and engaging event was organised in 't Voorhuys in Emmeloord: the great Siberian mammoth exhibition, which was an initiative of the Schokland Museum. The stuffed mammoths received national attention, mainly thanks to the visit of Prince Bernhard, but the number of visitors was rather disappointing. Two years later, the museum organised another mammoth exhibition in the polder, this time in a large tent on Schokland. The UNESCO World Heritage site Schokland organises events nearly every year.

 Exhibition "Siberian Mammoths" in 't Voorhuys, Emmeloord, 15 December 1992 - 16 May 1993. Opening by H.R.H. Prince Bernhard (left). Next to him Mr W. Oosterhof (director Schokland Museum) and the mayor Mr M.A.J. Knip

Parisian Week

The Parisian Week, late 1960s, was a one-off event, but it is still firmly locked in the memories of many older polder inhabitants. This event, during which the shopping street De Lange Nering in Emmeloord was transformed into 'little Paris', attracted many visitors. Nowadays, many people visit the themed Fridays that are held every year during the summer in this street in Emmeloord. The culturally ground-breaking festival, festival OORD, in Emmeloord has been a very well attended event these last few years. It is an open-air festival with music, dance, location and street theatre, poetry and visual arts. 

 Paris in Emmeloord. The Arc de Triomphe at the beginning of De Lange Nering, 1969.

Royal visitors

One of the special events the Noordoostpolder can look back on with pride is the fact that Her Majesty Queen Beatrix celebrated Queen's Day in Emmeloord in 1994. 

Queen's Day, 1994. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his brother Constantijn dancing amidst the local people of Emmeloord.

On 5 June 2009 Queen Beatrix visited the Noordoostpolder again when she unveiled the Schuttevaer monument on Schokland. The Queen is the patron of the 'Koninklijke Schuttevaer', a branch organisation for the inland navigation. She received a medal of honour for her contribution..

Queen Beatrix unveils the monument for inland navigation on Schokland. The Queen is patron of the Koninklijke Schuttevaer


With the Potato Event 'PotatoEurope', the Noordoostpolder has an agricultural event of international standing. Potato professionals from around the world come to admire the agricultural innovations. This important trade fair has been organised for decades and is held every five years.

On the international potato event in 1995 in Emmeloord, visitors could also see onion harvest demonstrations. The largest potato fair in Europe, which lasts three days, attracts more and more international exhibitors and farmers.

Checkers Championships

While the national checkers championship was held in Emmeloord in 2008, in 2011 the World Championship Checkers came to Emmeloord and Urk.

The Dutch checkers players Roel Boomstra (Left) and Wiebe van der Wijk from Emmeloord, during the 2011 World Championship Checkers in Emmeloord and Urk.

The Aggravation National Championship, of course a frivolous and fun event organised by the Carnaval Society De Droogpieren, has been taking place in Emmeloord for many years already.


The Bosbaan in Emmeloord gained national publicity as the 1997 Nederlandse Kampioenschappen baanatletiek (Dutch national track athletics championship) were held here. This was followed by the National Athletics Championships for Juniors in 2009, and in 2011 the organisation hosted the National Championship Combined Events Athletics to the Noordoostpolder.

Horse riding

In the field of horse riding, the races on the race course and the indoor Indoor Noordoostpolder in Emmeloord, as well as the Dijkruiters equestrian event in Luttelgeest are important events. The yearly cycling race Omloop om Schokland is a cycling sports event that will be held for the 20th time in 2011.

Fish-Potato run

The Fish-Potato run, is a running contest from Urk to Emmeloord, which first took place in 1990 and is now so well-known that it attracts runners from around the country. For many polder inhabitants it is a good drive to take up running.

Fish-Potato run. From Urk to Emmeloord.

HD-filmpje Fish-Potato run, 2011.


Zuiderzee Rally

Zuiderzee rally: starting from De Deel.

In 2010 the yearly event Zuiderzeerally was held for the 25th time. The rally attracts both national and international contestants. The event is broadly covered on the national radio and TV stations and is an important promoter for the Noordoostpolder.

Schokland Fair

When it comes to more cultural events, many people enjoy the Schoklandfair on the former island of Schokland. This event has a supraregional function.

Scandinavia Fair on Schokland, 2012. Event on the former island.

Film: A Scandinavian market on the former island of Schokland, nowadays located in the Noordoostpolder, with Swedish meatballs, huskies, Norwegian music, a Pippi Longstocking election and an interview with the Swedish consul. Folk dancing from Sweden, and all this on a beautiful sunny day.

There are tents and stalls with a large variety of products on the museum mound. Inside the museum, in the church and on the mound visitors can see historic films and performances and all kinds of demonstrations.

'Spud' Festival

A yearly and large local event is the 'Spud' Festival called Pieperfestival.

Volunteers handing out free chips on De Deel in Emmeloord during the 'Spud' festival.

One of the main things at this event are the free chips. There are music and dance performances and other activities, mainly from the polder itself. Over the years the 'Pieperfestival' has become more and more popular with visitors from outside the area, but it is still mainly an event for the own population and a reason for former inhabitants to come back for the day.

Film: Impression of the Pieperfestival 2011 in Emmeloord, Noordoostpolder.

New Year Festival

The Nieuwjaarsfestival, (New Year Festival) with the election of the Polder Pioneer (video), is also a happening people are looking forward to every year. On the first Saturday of the new year people from around the Noordoostpolder come to the theatre halls of hotel-restaurant 't Voorhuys to wish each other a happy new year. Het Tulpenfestival, the Tulip Festival, attracts the most visitors from outside the region and from abroad to the Noordoostpolder. It is deeply rooted in the Noordoostpolder society. Thousands of people follow the Tulip Trail. The Nacht van Oranje is a part of this festival and is a big music and dance event in Emmeloord. Uit-je-Tent, launched in 2011 and gaining national interest, is a multi-day camping event at several locations throughout the Noordoostpolder featuring all kinds of food, cultural and nature activities.

In addition to the festivities and events in Emmeloord, the local villages have their own yearly village fairs. The villages are also part of the route of the 'Elfdorpensteptocht', during which you can take a scooter ride passing through the villages, and the 11-villages run.

Film: Gezwam rond de Dam compilation 2010

One of the yearly highlights in Kraggenburg is the local custom of 'buutreednen', which can be described as local people making a comedy show where they tackle local issues and politics, known as Gezwam rond de Dam. It is traditionally organised by the Carnaval Society De Zotte Leeuwkes.

Creiler Flora

The Noordoostpolder is able to get regional attention to all kinds of events. For instance the Tulip Proms (Now: Polderproms, a local music spectacle) and the Creiler Flora (the exhibition of locally grown tulip and other flower varieties). All these events have regional and national appeal. From 2012 the Creiler Flora will continue as the 'Bloembollen Vakdagen Flevoland' (Flower Bulb Trade Show Flevoland) and it will get a different content.

Film Polderproms 2016