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Brussels Christmas parade draws less than half of expected visitors

00:00 14/12/2015

The third edition of the RTL Christmas Parade on Sunday evening drew about 70,000 spectators to the centre of Brussels, reports tourism minister Philippe Close. The parade was expected to attract about 150,000 spectators. "We didn't see as many visitors as in previous years, but there is a noticeable return to normality," he told De Standaard.

The annual parade, which this year featured colourful floats covered in  elves, polar bears and Santa Claus, among other Christmas characters, headed from Boulevard Adolphe Max to the Bourse and down Rue Dansaert.

"People are returning to the city centre, and the locals are starting to come out again," Close told the newspaper, in reference to the effects of last month's heightened terror threat level in the city. “It was a beautiful weekend,” he continued. “Many people came to do their Christmas shopping, and to visit the Christmas market and other attractions. On Sunday, despite the bad weather and not all of the shops being open, there were still a lot of people in the centre.”

Written by Robyn Boyle