The Zoetermeer bird race is a special lottery. A ticket has the shape of a wooden bird and has to compete against hundreds of fellow sufferers in a race on the water. The first bird across the finish line wins. On Saturday, September 30 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, the Dorpsstraat will be dedicated to this festival, the proceeds of which will go to charities.
The blue-yellow birds are handmade in the Nicaraguan city of Jinetoga: the sister city of Zoetermeer. Half of the proceeds should help starting food entrepreneurs in Jinetoga. The other half goes to the Zoetermeer foundation Everyone a meal; who provides minimum food and nice extras.
This is how the bird race works
Would you like to have a chance to win a prize and contribute to these charities? For 5 euros you adopt a bird with a number on it. It goes onto the Buurtvaart together with its wooden counterparts. The youth fire brigade uses a syringe to help the birds on their way, past obstacles that Scouting Ashanti has placed. The birds/numbers that cross the finish line first have a chance to win prizes.
If you want to take the wooden statue home with you, you can do that too. You can buy one for an extra 2.50 euros.
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There is more to do here
The organizers of the charity event – the Wereldwinkel, Round Table and Lions de Meerbloem – do not stick to a swimming lottery. There is much more to do on the CKC grounds. The band Small Talk will perform, there is a bouncy castle, children can have their faces painted or participate in a coloring competition, you can shop, eat and drink. In other words: it will be a big party for young and old.
The bird race took place once before in 2015 and raised 34,000 euros. A nice amount, which the initiators hope to exceed by September 30, 2023.