Tonight at 18:00, the 16 delegations of the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will meet for the first time in the brand new Radisson SAS hotel to celebrate the official start of the contest week.
Tonight will also be the first occation for the press to meet the 16 participants. About 150 journalists are expected. Hosts Maureen and Marcel and the mayor of Hasselt will also attend the small party, which will last until 20:00.
Earlier this month, sixteen primary school classes from Hasselt have been selected as the official fan clubs of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest�s sixteen participants. The so called 'Friendship Classes' project is an initiative of the City of Hasselt and VRT and RTBF, the broadcasters organising the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The project is intended to encourage contact between local and European children.
A couple of weeks ago, the City of Hasselt launched an appeal among local primary schools. It sent a letter to classes in the 5th and 6th grade, inviting each one to become a fan club for one of the sixteen participating countries. Thirty classes reacted positively of which sixteen of them were selected. During a press conference on 26 November, organisers drew lots to link each of the sixteen classes to a country. This was the result of that draw:
1. Greece � Stedelijke Basisschool Kuringen (Class 6B)
2. Denmark � Basisschool Godsheide
3. Croatia � Basisschool Triangel
4. Romania � LSBO De Schakelschool Kuringen
5. United Kingdom � School De Hazelaar
6. Sweden � Stedelijke Basisschool Rapertingen
7. Russia � Stedelijke Basisschool Kuringen (Klas 6A)
8. FYR Macedonia � Basisschool Runkst / Wijkafdeling Gaarveld
9. Netherlands � Basisschool De Kameleon (Klas 6A)
10. Serbia & Montenegro � Basisschool De Kievit
11. Latvia � Stedelijke Basisschool Spalbeek
12. Belgium � Vrije Basisschool Tuinwijk
13. Malta � Sint-Martinusschool
14. Norway � Basisschool De Kameleon (Klas 6B)
15. Spain � Stedelijke Basisschool Kermt
16. Belarus � Lagere School Het Klimrek
Each class will be keeping an eye on the progress of its entrant over the next few weeks. There will be special lessons in class and all children will attend a rehearsal to their candidate in action. They will also attend the Eurodisco on Thursday.
Esctoday.com is present all week and will provide you with daily reports about the preparations in and around the Ethias Arena. A small team of your daily Eurovision centre is already present and will be expanded on Thursday!