The beginning of the Multi-day Walking Event Venray

It is 2016, and Andre Tonen, chairman of the Venray Bloeit foundation and the Stichting Toeristisch Recreatief Platform Venray, has been thinking about a walking event in Venray for a while. He grew up with the Four Day March Nijmegen: at 6 in the morning, walking along hand in hand with the soldiers coming through his street in Nijmegen. Meanwhile he has been living in Venray for more than 20 years. “How nice would it be to have a walking event in Venray as well? An event, which could also be a preparation for participants in the four-day event in Nijmegen, or the one in Apeldoorn.”

However, talks with various organisations in Venray about setting up such an event don’t have the desired outcome. He has already decided that he himself will take a leading role when the subject of walking comes up during one of his regular meetings with alderman Jan Loonen. He is a vivid walker, just like mayor Hans Gilissen. During a joint walk the idea comes up to do a walking tour across all the small villages surrounding Venray. The two ideas have merged, and Andre Toonen finds two other fanatic walkers, Michel Thomassen and Henk Apeldoorn, who want to help organise the tour. The result: a walking tour of more than 50 kilometres along all the villages of Venray under the name ‘B & W walking tour.’

This walking tour, on 17 June 2017, has been the first step towards the organisation of the Multi-day Walking Event Venray, which will start in 2018. It is a walking event for the recreational, yet true walker – with relatively shorter distances. But it’s also suitable for the well-trained and experienced walkers who want to test themselves ahead of the major walking events in Nijmegen and/or Apeldoorn.

“Born in Nijmegen, I think that, in addition to the walking, there should also be room for a Multi-day Walking Party Venray,” Andre says. “Like the four-day event in Nijmegen and its summer festivities, but on a slightly smaller scale.”