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It will be raining cats, not dogs, in Ypres, Belgium, this weekend. The town’s Kattenstoet, or Cat Parade, gets under way Saturday with a mini-parade of cats and witches starting at 8:30 p.m., followed by a grand display of fireworks at 10:30. The big event, however, is on Sunday. The Cat Parade traipses through town starting at 3 p.m. This year’s theme is “Cats and Mice,” so even if you’ve seen the parade before, the mouse costumes will be new to you. The parade gives a nod to the presence of cats throughout history with an Egyptian cat goddess float, a Celtic cat perched on a silver throne and a tomcat presiding over a tribunal of witches. Beginning at 6 p.m., the cat fur (nowadays of the faux kind) will fly off the Grote Markt’s belfry tower. A procession of witches will wind up the festivities at 7. The origin of the Cat Parade is actually fairly recent. The first event was held in 1938. It was curtailed during the war years and resurrected in 1946. Ypres suffered greatly during World War II, so the parade represented a way to put the town back on the map and create a feeling of unity among its residents. Friends of felines might not want to miss this one. If they do, they’ll have to wait for a repeat performance in 2015,


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