I steered a few kilometres off the official Pieperpad cycle route, because I’d heard Hulst was a lovely quiet little village.
It was once an important fort, so it’s surrounded by a wall and a moat, with a huge cathedral and more than its fair share of attractive old buildings.
Somehow a small but noisy army had made it across the drawbridge.
It was Hulster Dweildag, which I think translates as ‘Hulst Mop the Floor Day’. I don’t know what that has to do with brass bands; maybe someone can explain it to me.
It didn’t seem to be an organised competition, though the standard of playing was high and at one stage things were in danger of getting heated when two opposing bands both started playing the same tune at the same time – with an unfortunate two-bar lag between them. The tune was Love is in the Air.
I did a little internet checking after the event. It is a competition of sorts, and the prize is a keg of beer.
All great fun!