May 4 and 5

The flags have just been cleared after the feast of King’s Day, but they will reappear on May 4. Then they will hang ‘half-mast’. That is the sign of mourning. It is officially the day that the victims of the Second World War (1940 to 1945) are commemorated in the Netherlands. But more and more it is a day to commemorate war victims in general. And unfortunately there are many worldwide. Wars that last much longer than five years…… In almost every municipality there is a place where this is commemorated. At 20.00 hr. The whole of the Netherlands is then silent for two minutes. In Heemstede this happens on the Vrijheidsdreef (Freedomway….. clear why it’s called like that, isn’t it?) There are actually two monuments. Behind the statue of the woman releasing her handcuffed hands is a special place for the Jewish victims. You can attend the commemoration there and your thoughts, who you think of, are FREE. The memorial on Dam Square in Amsterdam is also impressive. This can also be followed on television.
And then the flag will go ‘in top’ again on May 5th. Then we celebrate the liberation after those five years of war. A day that has not yet arrived in many countries. If you like pop music (and have earplugs) it is an idea to go to ‘Liberation Pop’. In the Haarlemmerhout. Free. Where is that? You can hear that from afar….

King’s day

No birthday is celebrated as lavishly as that of King Willem Alexander. Almost everyone has a day off and whatever you think about the royal family, everyone wants a day off…. And that party can continue again this year!

The link below shows the program in Heemstede.

The king celebrates his birthday in a different city every year. This year in Maastricht. You can see that on television. But especially the free market is famous. There is one in every village and every city. Also in Heemstede, next to the swimming pool. You can sell things yourself that you no longer need and you can buy everything yourself cheaply. Even if you don’t have stuff to sell, you can still try to make money! Bake special cookies (maybe some traditional ones from the country you come from) and sell them! Or can you make music on an instrument? Stand on the free market and put a container on the floor in front of you, where people can put money.

At least…. if they like your music. It is mainly a holiday and the flea market is a place to meet people. TO DO!


Apr 23.

It’s allowed again!! For years, people from all over the world came to the Netherlands especially at this time of year to see the flower parade. Usually combined with a visit to Keukenhof.

For the bulb farmers, the bulbs are the most important. Sounds weird, but the flowers are partly an afterthought. Because the flowers have to be removed from the bulbs during this time, it was decided not to throw them away immediately, but to use them for a parade. Soon all color will be gone from the fields again. Enjoy it! Cycle or walk along the bulb fields.

And what is so beautiful about living in Heemstede, in addition to many other things of course, you can probably just walk from your home to a spot along the route of the parade to watch this festive procession.

Below is the part of the route through Heemstede with the times.

You can still watch the whole day in Haarlem on Sunday. There are the cars. And besides looking…. Don’t forget to smell!

Herenweg – Prinsenlaan.                    19.40

Entrance Groenendaal –

MUSIC ENTRANCE.                                19.57

Traffic light Rijnlaan.                             20.06

Herenweg – Van Merlenlaan.                20.13

Van Merlenlaan – Raadhuisstraat.        20.26

Binnenweg – Zandvaartkade (center)    20.34

Julianalaan.                                                  20.40

Spaarnezichtlaan.                                       20.44

Binnenweg – Lanckhorstlaan.                   20.49

Lanckhorstlaan – Herenweg (N208)          20.56

Municipal Outcome Council elections 2022 in Heemstede

Elections for municipal councils were held throughout the Netherlands on 14, 15 and 16 March. Also in Heemstede, all residents of 18 years and older could go to the polls to cast their vote. In the Netherlands, it is not mandatory to vote, so there are also people who do not vote. In Heemstede, more than 63% have made use of this right. That is slightly less than the 65.6% in 2018, but much more than the average in the Netherlands. Because less than half of the people in the major cities did not vote, the average in the Netherlands was about 50%. That is a pity because the voice of the people who have stayed at home has been lost and they, therefore, have no influence on the policy in the municipalities.

In Heemstede, 7 parties took part in the elections and one of those parties (SamenSterkHeemstede) did not receive enough votes for a seat in the municipal council. The other six parties have also been in the city council since 2018. Heemsteeds Burger Belang (HBB), Groen Links and the Labor Party then each supplied an alderman and thus formed the Board. In the elections, HBB lost two seats (to 5), while the PvdA won one (to 2) and Groen Links remained the same (to 3). As a result, these three parties came together for 10 seats, which means they still lack one seat to form the majority (in a municipal council of 21 seats). The opposition of VVD, D’66 and CDA jointly won one seat (by winning D’66) and jointly has a majority of 11 seats. One has to wait to find out how the negotiations for a new council will go and what the outcome will be. Although HBB and VVD have the same number of seats, the VVD has gained some more votes and this party will take the initiative in the negotiations. And then it depends on whether sufficient agreement can be reached with other parties about a college program.

Election result (Number of seats per party)

                                         2018               2022

HBB                                      7                    5

VVD                                      5                    5

D’66                                      3                    4

Groen Links                        3                    3

CDA                                      2                    2

PvdA                                    1                    2


Municipal elections in March

Municipal elections are held throughout the Netherlands in March. In Heemstede, residents can go to the polls on no less than 3 days (14, 15 and 16 March). The polls are open from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm. The results will be announced on March 16. So everyone has ample opportunity to vote. You vote for one of the candidates of a political party. In Heemstede, 7 parties are participating in the elections: Het Heemsteeds Burger Belang (HBB), The Association for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Democrats 66 (D’66), GroenLinks (GL), The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), De Labor Party (PvdA) and SamenSterkHeemstede (SSH). All parties have their own ideas to make life in Heemstede more pleasant. You can choose the party that you agree with the most. To give you an idea, you can view the Election Newspaper ( All parties are listed there with their program and there is also a page in which all points of view are briefly and conveniently side by side.

After the elections, the municipal council of 21 councillors will be revealed. Then we also know which party has the most councilors in the city council. Then the municipal councillors start talking to each other and see who they can best work with. This creates a group of parties that will become Heemstede’s Executive Board  (the government) for the next four years. These parties supply the aldermen (comparable to ministers). Together with the mayor, they form the College of Mayor and Aldermen. The parties supplying the aldermen together write a coalition agreement containing the plans they want to implement over the next four years. Examples include the introduction of a speed limit in built-up areas, a ring road around Heemstede, more affordable housing for house hunters and the preservation of many trees in Heemstede. These are all plans, which are in the various party programs.

So go vote in March and choose the party that has the best program for you.


Good news for exam candidates

Graduation students who are going to sit their final year exams this year have heard the good news last week. The exam rules have been eased this year, just like last year. Due to the lockdowns and other consequences of the corona pandemic, this school year has also been different than usual. Exam candidates had to deal with home-schooling this year and the year before, which is why the (new) Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dennis Wiersma, has decided that exam candidates can cross off one subject. However, this subject may not be a core subject (Dutch, English, and mathematics). This is the so-called “Thumb scheme (duimregeling)”: the final mark of the crossed-out subject does not count in determining the result. And as announced earlier, exam students are also entitled to an extra resit, so a total of two resits instead of one.     Other than that, there also will be an extra period, so that students can spread their exams over two periods. For pre-vocational secondary education(vmbo), there is another change in the assessment for the profile course. More information about this can be found on the website of the national government.

However, the Minister of Education, Dennis Wiersma, calls on students to only use the elimination if it is necessary. “It is important to prepare yourself as well as possible for your further education and to pass all your courses. If your marksheet shows that it was not all successful after all, you will be given the opportunity to make use of this scheme, just like last year.”

We wish all exam candidates good luck with the preparations!



Valentine’s Day 2022


It’s February already, and February brings a special day every year, the Valentine’s Day. It falls on a Monday this year. Valentine’s Day is all about love, it is the day when lovers surprise each other with presents, flowers, cards, etc. The origin of Valentine’s Day lies in the third century, it is named after the Christian priest Saint Valentine from Rome. According to some sources, during the time of Saint Valentine, there was an imperial law forbidding soldiers to marry. Valentine thought that love always conquers everything, so he would have married soldiers in secret. When Emperor Claudius II (267-270) discovered this, he beheaded Valentine on February 14. Little is known about the authenticity of this story, which is why some think that this story was made up later. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day has become very popular worldwide in recent years. As well as becoming a commercial success, companies take advantage of the day by launching special promotions and discounts to attract the attention of customers. You can surprise your loved one by buying cards at Hallmark or kaart2go, they have a whole collection dedicated to Valentine’s Day cards around this time of year. For gifts you can have look at drugstores such as Etos, Kruidvat, or Trekpleister, where you can get a great gift within a reasonable price. If you want to go even further, you can check out luxury stores such as Rituals, Douglas, ICI Paris XL, etc. If you are still looking for inspiration, just look around the stores: who knows, something might catch your eye, good luck!




Sad news from Heemstede

On Thursday, January 6, a news circulated on social media that a 17-year-old boy named Sam Hooftman from Overveen is missing. Sam never came home on the night of Wednesday after a party in Heemstede with his friends. The message of his disappearance was widely shared on social media, his mother and brother asked everyone to look out for Sam. According to his friends, Sam left the house on Leidsevaartweg near Heemstede-Aerdenhout station at around 00:40 on his way, but never arrived home. On Thursday, January 6, the day after he went missing, the police as well as his friends, loved ones, local residents and volunteers who joined the group via the social media appeal, searched for Sam.

On Friday 7 January a body was found by the police in the Leidsevaart. Then the heartbreaking news came out: unfortunately, it concerns the missing Sam. The investigation by the police showed that Sam had cycled along the Leidsevaart that night and fell into the water because of a fatal accident and drowned. Sam’s death caused a stir in the Netherlands, but especially in the area where he lived and where his body was found. A sea of ​​flowers arose along the Leidsevaart where Sam had fallen into the water. A petition was also raised by someone who lives near the Leidsevaart, to place long fences along the Leidsevaart to make the road safer. This petition has now been signed more than 25,000 times.

Last Wednesday a memorial tour was held in memory of Sam. Hundreds of people walked along. As a platform, we wish the family, friends and everyone who loved Sam a lot of strength!

P.S. The petition is still active and can be signed by clicking on the following link:




Corona will also remain in 2022!

The new year – 2022 – has started and the editors of Welkom Heemstede, Platform for Integration wishes all readers a prosperous and above all a healthy year.

We will all again have to do a lot to stay healthy and perhaps even more than we did in 2020 and 2021. It is hard to imagine that the corona pandemic has already lasted two years. Recently, a new virus species – Omikron – has even emerged, which is much more contagious than the previous variants.

It is therefore even more important that people get vaccinated. The chance that you will become (seriously) ill is smaller and if you do become ill, it is usually less serious and you hardly ever have to go to hospital. It is true that the protection provided by the vaccine decreases after some time and that is why the health council (a group of very good doctors) advises to take a “booster”. It is almost essential, especially now that the number of infections from Omikron is rising sharply.

On January 7, 25,000 people in the Netherlands were infected again. Although the symptoms of the disease are less severe than with previous variants, these large numbers will still lead to many people ending up in hospital.

Some people in the Netherlands – and also in other countries – say that vaccination is not necessary or is even nonsense. However, most experts find it important and useful. If you don’t trust it yourself, talk to your doctor about it. He or she can give you all the information and wants the best for you. Let’s be careful and look after each other. Stay healthy, then hopefully 2022 will be a good year.


The Netherlands now in a real lockdown

Recently, the fear of the Omicron virus has increased sharply. The virus spreads very quickly. In Amsterdam, it has strongly expelled the delta virus from 5% of the infections to 35% within three weeks. Experiences in other countries show that this displacement is rapidly increasing to close to 100%. Even if the symptoms of this virus are less severe (which is not yet certain), many people will still end up in hospital. To prevent contamination, the Dutch government announced a stricter lockdown on December 18. Catering and non-essential shops must remain closed until January 14. Supermarkets, pharmacies, drugstores, food and clothing banks and gas stations may remain open until 8 p.m. For a complete overview, see:

Schools are closed until January 9. This applies to primary schools, secondary schools and higher and university education. However, emergency care must be available for vulnerable children and children of parents with crucial professions. People should work from home as much as possible, unless that is not possible.

All indoor sports locations are closed. All outdoor sports are allowed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Top sport and swimming lessons for A, B and C diplomas are allowed. Events are not allowed.

Hopefully, the Omicron virus will be contained with these measures. If not, the lockdown will last even longer.