- Title: BELGIUM: Brussels' ballooning celebration of comic strip
- Date: 13th September 2010
- Summary: PEOPLE WATCHING
- Embargoed: 28th September 2010 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA5N4IPTEWWXWBX6M7DCGCLTU09
- Story Text: Comic books are at the heart of Belgian culture and history and the capital of Brussels celebrated the art with a parade of huge balloons on Sunday (September 12) for the second year running.
The weather was very Belgian too, threatening a severe downpour, as a small team of Americans, specially flown in from sunnier San Diego, inflated the balloons.
The huge floating creatures were comic book characters known worldwide ranging from Ninja Turtle to the Smurfs and Betty Boop.
Brussels wants to promote its proud comic heritage which gave us Tintin, Spirou and the Smurfs, amongst many others.
The parade was part of a series of events celebrating what they called "the 9th art" - coming down the list after poetry, cinema and television respectively.
Aficionados were treated to a special exhibition of 60 comic strip authors and on Saturday the city distributed free comic books from a giant bookshelf with people invited to draw comics alongside professionals.
The Belgian Centre of Comic Strips (CBBD) gave free tours.
Although there were few at the start of the parade, the centre of town was packed with onlookers and children as the balloon figures entered the narrow streets of the centre of Brussels.
On Saturday night there was a spectacular light and sound show on the Place Royale where organisers projected comic strip images and 3-D animation on the old buildings around the square.
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