As if the village is in a different time zone, but still: Wouwse Plantage succeeds every year with the very first carnival parade in Brabant, perhaps even in the south. The tradition attracts many participants and audiences. Some people are so itchy that they simply cannot wait another week.
“We put the last paint on it at a quarter past one last night,” Willem laughs. He is from construction club Dun Deurzetters from Fijnaart. “We have been in existence as a construction club for three years now,” he says with some pride.
“We bought this car. It actually comes from Hoogerheide and belonged to the construction club De Papagaai. They drove it in the Roosendaal parade eight years ago. We have refurbished it.”
Willem and his friends left the Moerdijk church village early in the morning, because it is more than a two-hour drive to Wouwse Plantage with the enormous car. Especially if you go inside. Going on busy roads was not an option. It went slowly and carefully. Because the colossus is more than seven meters high and more than twenty-two meters long. “We are the longest car here today.”
Wagon builders like to take the trouble to drive to Wouwse Plantage. They are mainly ‘the neighbors’, from surrounding villages on the Brabantse Wal, such as Ossendrecht and Putte. But also from Moerstraten.
Even Dinteloord is participating, although not next door. That’s where the Leuttrappers come from with a gigantic car every year. Ten large floats are participating in the parade this year, which is a lot for such a small village. It is a tradition here to hold the parade a week in advance. That’s how you stand out.
Today, as usual, there are also many participants from the village itself. Running groups, individuals and couples. Twenty-three participants in total. They respond to this year’s motto: ‘Made from good stuff.’ Wouwse Plantage is a village on the edge of the forest. It used to be called Pindorp or ‘De Pin’ and now during carnival Mastepinnelaand. Named after the mastepin, a tree stump.
The purple-blue Mastepin flag flies from the houses. Villagers are adorned in their own colors. A woman with branches on her body carries a sign with the text: branch woman. She is part of a group that calls itself ‘the Takkewijfies van de Pin’.
Entire families and families participate. A new club has just been founded. “We are called construction club Pinonino’s. That is Spanish for pine tree children. “And yes, you have to raise them with this party,” one of the parents laughs.
Everyone passes the prince’s carriage that is positioned in front of the Holy Gertrude Church. There are Prince Stijn d’n 1st, Greatest Farmer Peer, Jester Tommeke and Sjampetter Joene waving to the participants.
As usual, this is where most of the hundreds of spectators are, many of whom are already dressed up. You can also tell from those visitors where they come from. Red coats from Wouw, the red from Roosendaal, white from the ‘gerdijnen’ from Bergen op Zoom.
The Boys Zonder Naam car slowly slides over the Plantagebaan. ‘BZN’ comes from Hoogerheide and is now about 17 years old. “We have two new builders!” Says the BZN man who drives in the back of a separate car. He takes care of the catering. “I’m going to fry an egg. But I also make a spicy shawarma sometimes.”
Part of their car was also purchased. “From Twente, and he previously rode in Breda and Hulst.” As the tour continues through the streets of Mastepinneaand, a bleak sun breaks through. The party has started, the rest of Brabant will soon follow.