Land-locked Brussels enjoys a day at the beach

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - This summer, Brussels locals won’t need to leave town if they want to bury their feet in the sand and soak up some sun.

A festival called Bruxelles Les Bains, or Brussels Beach, brings just that - the beach - to Belgium’s land-locked capital.

Organizers have built large sand boxes at the edge of the Brussels Canal and set up food stands, water fountains, sports events, live music and films.

All that’s missing is the sea - people are not allowed to swim in the waterway, but they can go peddle boating.

“It’s really cool just to be able to come and hang out here as opposed to have to schlep all the way up to the coast,” said local Michael Bloom.

This year, the makeshift beach sits at the entrance to the city’s new contemporary art museum, Kanal-Centre Pompidou. Organizers hope the close proximity to the museum will expand the festival’s reach.

“The two different audiences can maybe talk about contemporary art and, at the same time, take in some very good moments,” said Marina Bresciani, Brussels Beach communication advisor.

Brussels Beach is open to the public free of cost from July 6 to August 18.

Reporting by Megan Dollar; Editing by Andrew Heavens