Frankfurt Book Fair 2016, Opening Night Festivities

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016

Flanders and Netherlands Guests of Honor 2016 at the Frankfurt Book Fair

To go or not to go, that was my question… go to what? The Frankfurt Book Fair – oh no, that answer was clearly YES!  My dilemma was in regard to the opening night affair! I have never been in the presence of royalty, and as you can see by the photograph above, there were in fact royals on-hand! That would be their majesties King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Philippe, King of the Belgians, together with Queen Mathilde. The Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, the Dutch Minister of Culture, Jet Bussemaker, and the Flemish Minister of Culture, Sven Gatz, accompanied the delegation. Wow!

Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016

As I begin to share my journey via train toward Frankfurt (with the tallest Coke Light I’ve ever seen!), let’s take a look at the Frankfurt Book Fair in general. From the official site, “The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s largest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists – including 2,000 bloggers – in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976 the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honor country which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways.”

In a word, the Frankfurt Book Fair is HUGE!! With Culture Honey receiving press credentials, there was no other answer than “Yes!” Armed with a heart full of passion for CultureHoney.com, 3 books to talk about and an entire publishing house to represent, I arrived at the Frankfurt Central Station around 5pm on Tuesday, October 18th.

Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016

Did I have enough energy to find my way down to the Messe Frankfurt from my conveniently located AirBnB apartment? On only my second time in Germany (not counting airport stops), I took the bait and headed over to where the action was definitely happening!

Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

After the opening night ceremony and speeches, the reception turned things up a notch! Complete with a very cool jazz band, hors d’oeuvres, wine and LOADS of books from Flanders and the Netherlands, the main buzz-attraction was still the special guests!

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

An uber cool environment, the Frankfurter Buchmesse opening night reception drew us in and invited us to stay longer!

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Okay, we’ve got our snaps, now let in the special visitors and the press, please!

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Did I mention there were books? The most ever, the “Books On” presentation had over 700 books from and about Flanders and the Netherlands!

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Lovely, lovely books : )

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

And more:

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

The opening night festivities were enjoyed by all!

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

And I really was impressed by the amount of care shown to members of the press and special guests, having missed a real dinner to attend : )

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

One last look at the theme: “Dit is wat we delen” (“This is what we share”)

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

Frankfurt Book Fair Opening, 2016

And it’s off to home to get some sleep before tomorrow’s opening day! Auf Wiedersehen for now!
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