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16th edition of Winter Wonders to 'restore Brussels' image'
The 16th edition of Winter Wonders, which runs from 25 November to 1 January in the centre of Brussels, is expected to help restore the city's image after the tragic terror attacks of 22 March. The holiday festivities should bring back Brussels' international reputation as a place where lively events promote togetherness, according to Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur.
Mayeur made the statement on Wednesday during the presentation of the city's prized year-end event. He also announced that this year's Christmas tree will be a 22m fir from Slovakia (as a symbolic end to the country's 2016 EU Council presidency).
The city of Brussels is counting on around 1.5 million visitors to Winter Wonders. Country guest of honour is Japan, in celebration of 150 years of Japanese-Belgian relations. The anniversary will be highlighted by a 3D video projection on the facade of the Saint-Catherine Church.
Winter Wonders takes place on the Grand Place, around the Bourse, La Monnaie, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons, with performances, sound and light shows, a Christmas market with more than 200 chalets, fairground attractions and a 740m² ice skating rink.