The Sneekweek is an annual sailing event, organised by the Royal Water Sports Association Sneek. During this week sailing competition on the Sneeker lake and the "Goëngarijpsterpoelen" takes place on a daily basis. There are also festive activities in the city centre, like a naval review and a fun fair.
The Sneekweek takes place from the 2nd of August through the 7th of August 2013.
1814, after the French period, a sailing trip - with Joure as destination - was held, after it had become known that the Sneeker citizen Jacob Sjoukes Visser had deserted the French armed forces and had arrived safely in Joure. This went down well and as a result sailing contests were held every year, which developed into to the "Sneker Hardzeildag" . In the year 1935 the first Sneekweek took place, 2010 the Sneekweek celebrated its 75th anniversary. Then Queen (now Princess) Beatrix was present with her ship Groene Draeck.
Nowadays the Sneekweek is the largest event on inland waterways within Europa. It starts with a naval review (a show with hundred of boats and fireworks) on Friday before the first Saturday in August. The Sneekweek ends on the following Thursday. The Wednesday is known as "Hardzeildag", the second last competition day. On that day there's a large-scale fair in town. During the Sneekweek the entire city centre is one big music festival, with stages in the Marktstraat, the Wijde Noorderhorne, the Vismarktplein, the Wip and on the Starteiland. On Sunday the shops are open in the city centre. And on Friday after the Sneekweek there is an art and book market on the Grootzand.
Every year the "hardzeildag" is on the Wednesday in the Sneekweek and it originates from the so-called "Admiraalzeilen", competitions that were dedicated to the Dutch stadtholder. When the French came by the end of the 17th century, these traditons came to an end for the time being. On "Hardzeildag" a Friesland-Holland race, among other things, is held, during which the Friesians compete with the Dutch. The centre of Sneek hosts a fair and all kinds of events take place.